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KANSAS

CITY,

MO PUBLIC LIBRARY

EfeMr'tf

NTS

CENTAL PHILOSOPHY
ABRIDGED AND DESIGNED AS 1

TEXT-BOOK

ACADEMIES AND HIGH SCHOOLS.

BY THOMAS
*
'

C.

UPHAM,
'

PHOFE8SOR OF MENTAL 1ND MORAL PFULOSOPH,Jtf


-

'

"

NEW YORK:
UARPER & BROTHERS, PUB LI
1858.

Jilntered,

according to Act of Congress, in the yeai 1840, by

HARPER & BROTHERS,


In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York.

PREFACE
THE Philosophy
sciences,

of the

Mind has grown

up, like other

coming

from small beginnings. Many propositions, in many instances, from able writers, have too,
;

brown aside
mass oflirroiT"^^
principles
is

truth has

been

sifted out

from the

number of important

ascertained.

BuTwhtteJi, js exceedingly

our youth should be" 'made acquainted necessary that with these principles, it is impossible that they should go
discussions which have through with all the complicated been held in respect to them. Many of the books in

which these

discussions are contained


;

have become ex-

ceedingly rare

and,

if

they were not so, no small

num-

ber of students,

who

are

now in

the course of as thorough

an education as our country

affords,

would not be

ablo-tc

before the stupurchase them. And besides, by placing dent a mass of crude and conflicting statements, his mind

becomes perplexed. To be able to resolve such a mass into its elements, and to separate truth from error, implies

utraiquamiauie with UiB laws uf Ll'ieTStellect, and a ctegree of mental discipline, which he is not yet supposed to
hate acquired \ and hence, instead of obtaining much important knowledge, he becomes distrustful of

everything saying nothing of the loss of time attendant on such a course, are to be remedied in the same

Now these

evils,

way

as in other sciences.

In other departments of learn$

ing, ingenious

men

discuss points of difficulty

conflicting

arguments are accumulated, until the preponderance on


one side
is

such that the fyuestion ia debate

is

considered

IV

VUEFAUE.

settled

Others employ themselves in collecting facts, in classifying them, and in deducing general piinciples; and when all this is done, the important truths of the science,
collected from such a variety of sources, and suitably arranged and expressed, are laid before the student, in or-

der that he
is

may become acquainted with them. And this attempted, to some extent, to be done in the present work, which is an abridgment of a larger work on the same subject. In the larger work, the principles of
what
is

Eclecticism and Induction, which have just been referred scale than in the to, are applied on a more extensive
I have been obliged necessarily to exclude present from the abridgment many interesting and striking illustrations and facts, and some general philosophical views, which would have had a place if our limits had permitted.
I indulge the hope, nevertheless, as the abridgment has been made with no small degree of care, that it will

answer the purpose

for

which

it is

particularly designed

who need some knowlviz., the assistance of those youth of Mental Philosophy, but are not in a situation to edge
prosecute the subject to any great extent.

THOMAS U UPHAM

fhwdnn

College,

May, 18t)

C O N T E N T

S.

DIVISION
7T SELECTIVE OR

THE INTELLECT OR UNDERSTANDING.


INTELLECTUAL STATFS OF THE
VZT^B

PARTI.
INTELLECTUAL STATES OF EXTERNAL ORIGIN.

CHAPTER
tion

I.

ORIGIN OF KNOWLEDGE IN GENERU,

The mind susceptible of a threefold drusion 2 The Intellect susceptible of a subordinate division 3 Of the connexion of the mind with the material woi Id
1

Pigt

17 ;b

18

4 Our first knowledge in general of a material or external origin . 19 5 Shown further from what we notice in children . .20 , 6 Further proof of the beginnings of knowledge from external cause* 21 7. The same subject further illustrated . 22 8 Illustration from the case of James Mitchell .23
. . . .

CHAPTER
SENSATION"
9
10
1

II.

AND PERCEPTION
.

Sensation -"
1.

the mental and phy&ical change not ca pable of explanation 13 Of the meaning and nature of perception 14. Perception makes us acquainted with a material vvorld 15 Of the primary and secondary qualities of matter 16 Of the secondary qualities of matter
12.

The connexion between

a simple mental state 01 iginatinor in the senses All sensation is properly and truly in the mind Sensations are not images or resemblances of objects .

24 25
ib.

....
...
.
.

26 27 27 28
29

CHAPTER
17
18.

III.

THE SENSES OF SMELL AAD TA&TE.


Nature and importance of the senses as a source of knowjcd^ Connexion of the brain with sensation and perception Order in which the senses are to be considered 20. Of the sense and sensations of smell 21. Of perceptions of smell in distinction from sensations Of the sense and the sensations of taste '<22.
19.
,

30
31

.32
, .

ib

33
34

CHAPTER
23
24.

IV
35 36
37

THE SENSE OF HEARING


Organ
of the sense of hearing

25

Manner

Varieties of the sensation of sound . . in which we learn the place of sounds

....
.
.

vi

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER
*acton

V
"*

1HK SENSE OF TOUCH


26 27
the sense of touch in general and its sensations Idea of externality suggested in connexion with the toush 33 Origin of the notion ol extension, and of form or figaie . 29 On the sensations of heat and cold . 30. Of the sensations of hardness and softness 31 Of certain indefinite feelings sometimes ascribed to the touch "}2 Relation between the sensation and what is outwardly signified

Of

38
ib

40
41

42 44
4,>

CHAPTER
33
34.

VI

THE SENSE OF SIGHT


sight, and the uses or benefits of that sen? Statement of the mode or process in visual perceplion Of the original and acquired perceptions of sight The idea of extension not originally from sight Of the knowledge of the figure of bodies by the sight Illustration of the subject from the blind Measurements of magnitude by the eye Of objects seen in a mist Of the sun and moon when seen m the horizon Of the estimation of distances by sight Signs by means of which we estimate distance by sight Estimation of distance when unaided by intermediate objects Of objects seen on the ocean, &c

Of the organ of

46
.

35 36
37.

47 48 49 50
51

38 39
40. 41. 42.

52

.53
ib

43 44 45

... ...
. .

.54
.

5,3

56 57

CHAPTER
II

VII

\BITb OF SENSATION

AND PERCEPTION
.

its applications . of habit applicable to the mind as well as the body relation to the smell relation to the taste Of habit in relation to the hearing 51. Application of habit to the touch . 52. Other striking instances of habits of touch . 53. Habits consideied in relation to the sight a relative, a& well as positive increase of 54 Sensations may possess

46

Geneial view of the law of habit and of


.

55
ib

47.

The law
Of habit

48 49 50

m Of habit m

'

59 60 62 64 C5 GO
09
fi

55
56.

power Of habits as modified by


.

particular callings and arts

....
,

of habit considered in r*?f lence to the perception of the outlines and forms of objects 57. Notice of some facts which favour the above doctrine fS Additional illustiahons of Mr Stewart's doctrine
,

The law

70
71
?'<;

CHAPTER
f>9

VIII

CONCEPTIONS
00.

61

Meaning and characteustics of conceptions Of conceptions of objects of sight Of the influence of habit on our cojic eptiuns
.

62 63 64
fiG

Influence of habit on conceptions of sight

...
,

^3 74 76 77
ib

Of the subserviency of our conceptions to description Of conceptions attended with a momentaiy belief 05 Conceptions which are joined with perceptions

78
.

81

Conceptions, as conr-ected vvith fictitious IP presentations

82

CONTENTS.

VII

CHAPTER
3cctiC3

IX
Pig*

SIMPLICITY AND COMPLEXNESS OP MENTAL STATL&.


67. Origin of the distinction of simple

68
69.

70. 71.
72.

73.

and complex Nature and characteristics of simple mental states Simple mental states not susceptible of definition Simple mental states representative of a reality . Ongm of complex notions, and their relation to simple Supposed complexness without the antecedence of simple feelings The precise sense in which complexness is to be understood
.

83
ib

...
.

74 Illustrations of analysis as applied to the mind 75 Complex notions of external origin 76. Of objects contemplated as wholes

... .....
.
.

84 85 86 87 88 89 90
91

CHAPTER
77. Abstraction

X.

ABSTRACTION
92 implied in the analysis of complex ideas 9S 78. Instances of particular abstract ideas . 79 Mental process in separating and abstracting them . 94 80 General abstract notions the same with genera and species 95 81. Process in classification, or the forming of genera and species 96 82 Early classifications sometimes incorrect 97 83 Illustrations of our earliest classifications ib 84 Of the nature of general abstract ideas 98 85 The power of general abstraction in connexion with numbers, &c 99 86. Of general abstract truths or principles . ib . 87. Of the speculations of philosophers and others . 100
.

....
.

... ...
.

CHAPTER
88 89 90
91,
92.

XI.

OP ATTENTION

Of the general nature of attention Of different degrees of attention


Alleged inability to

... ...
XII.

. .

101

102

Dependence of memory on attention Of exercising attention in reading

'103
$04 105

command

the attention

CHAPTER
93
94.

DKEAMING,
. Definition of dreams and the prevalence of them Connexion of dreams with our waking thoughts Dreams are often caused by our sensations Explanation of the mcoherency of dreams. (1st cause) 97. Second cause of the mcoherency of dreams 98. Apparent reality of dreams (1st cause) 99 Apparent reality of dreams (2d cause) 100 Of our estimate of time in dreaming

107

D5 96

108

no
ID.

101

Explanation of the preceding statements

111 112 113 114

PART

II.

INTELLECTUAL STATES OF INTERNAL ORIGIN*

CHAPTER
102. Ttie soul

INTERNAL ORIGIN OP KNOWLEDGE,


103

has fountains of knowledge within . Declaration of Locke, that the soul has know't-dge in itself

119 120

Vlll
Section

CONTENTS.
The
the senses beginning of knowledge is also be internal accessions to knowledge Instances of notions which have an internal origin . Other instances of ideas which ha\e an internal origin
. .

104 105 106 107

foga

There may

120 121

122
ib

CHAPTER
108.

II.

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.
109. Ideas of existence,

110
III.

Import of suggestion, and its application in Reid and Stewart mind, self-existence, and personal identity Of the nature of 'mity, and the ongm of that notion Nature of succession, and origin of the idea of succession
.

112

Origin of the notion of duration

...
.
,

123 124 126 127 123


ib

113. Illustrations of the nature of duration . 114. Of time and its measurements, and of eternity . 115. The idea of space not of external origin 116. The idea of space has its origin in suggestion . 117. Of the origin of the idea of power .

129 130
131

132
ib.

. T18, Occasions of the origin of the idea of power . 119 Of the ideas of right and wrong . . 120 Origin of the ideas of moral merit and demerit 121. Of other elements of knowledge developed in suggestion 122 Suggestion a source of principles as well as of ideas

. . .

133 131 135


ib

CHAPTER

III.

CONSCIOUSNESS
123. Consciousness the 2d source of internal knowledge, its nature 124. Further remarks on the proper objects of consciousness 125 Consciousnes aground or law of belief 126 Instances of knowledge developed in consciousness
. .

136 137 138


ib

CHAPTER
127 128
129. 130.

IV.

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT.

Of the

Occasions on which feelings of relation

susceptibility of perceiving or feeling relations may arise


.

140
142

.141
.

Of the use of correlative terms Of relations of identity and diversity


.

ib

131

132
133.

134
135. 136. 137. 138.

(n ) Relations of degree, and names expressive of them (HI.) Of relations of proportion (iv ) Of relations of place or position Of relations of time (v ) (vi.) Of ideas of possession . (vn.) Of relations of cause and effect Of complex terms involving the relation of cause and effect Connexion of relative suggestion with reasoning , .
. .

. .

...

143 144 145

.146
147 148
.
.

14i>

Iw

CHAPTER
ASSOCIATION.
139
(I )

V.

PRIMARY LAWS
here

Reasons

for considering this subject

140. Meaning of association and illustrations 141. Of the general laws of association 142. Resemblance the first general law of association 143. Of resemblance in the effects produced 144. Contrast the second general or primary law 145 Contiguity the third general or primary law

...
.
.
,

151
ib

.
.

*46

Cause and

effect the fourth

primary law

152 153 154 155 157 158

CONTENTS

13

CHAPTER
ASSOCIATION
section

Vi.

(II

SECONDARY LAWS,

147. 148. 149. 150. 151.

Secondary laws, and their connexion with the primary


influence of lapse of time Secondary law of repetition or habit Of the secondary law of co-existent emotion Onginal difference in the mental constitution The foregoing as applicable to the sensibilities

Of the

....
.

Pogu

...
. . .
.

.
.

159 160 161 162 163


164

!52

CHAPTER
MEMORY.
153
154.

VII

155 156

Remarks on the general nature of memory Of memory as a ground or law of belief Of differences in the strength of memory Of circumstantial memory, or that species of memory which

....
. . .

106 167 168


is

based on the relations of contiguity . . 169 time and place 157. Illustrations of specific or circumstantial memory . .170 158. Of philosophic memory, or that species of memory which is based

on other

relations than those of contiguity

159. Illustrations of philosophic memory . 160. Ot that species of memory called intentional recollection 161. Nature of intentional recollection 162 Instance illustrative of the preceding statements . .

...
.

.171
.

172 173 174


ib.

163 164 165

Marks of a good memory


.
.

175

Directions or rules for the improvement of the memory Further directions for the improvement of the memory "66. Of observance of the truth connexion with memory

.177 .179 .180

CHAPTER
167
168.
169.

VIII.

DURATION OF MEMORY.
Restoration of thoughts and feelings supposed to be forgotten 18J . Mental action quickened by influence on the physical system . 183 Other instances of quickened mental action, and of a restoration of thoughts 184 Effect on the memory of a severe attack of fever . . . . ib. . 185 Approval and illustrations of these views from Coleridge .187 Application of the principles of this chapter to education Connexion of this doctrine with the final judgment and a future
.

170
171.

172
173.

life

189

CHAPTER

IX.

REASONING.
374. Reasoning a source of ideas and knowledge 175. Definition of reasoning, and of propositions all cases of reasoning 176. Process of the mind
.

190
1Q1

177

MS.
179

Illustration of the preceding statement Grounds of the selection of propositions


sitions

192 193 194


pi( p*>

Reasoning implies the existence of antecedent or assumed


Further considerations on this subject Of differences the power of reasoning
.
.

180
181. 182.

183 134

m Of habits of reasoning Of reasoning m connexion wjth language or expression


.

......
,

195 196
197 198

.199
200

lllu-trafion of the foregoing section

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER
fcctioci

X.
Page

DEMONSTRATIVE REASONING
185
180
187.

Of the subjects of demonstrative reasoning Use of definitions arid axioms in demonstrative


.

re? sorting
,

188
189,

The opposites of demonstrative reasonings absurd Domonstrati<pns do not admit of different" degrees of belief
Of the use
ol

diagrams in demonstrations

201 202 203 204 205

CHAPTER
190

XI
.206
207 208 209 210

MORAL REASONING
191. 192.

Of the subjects and unpoitance of moral reasoning Of the nature of moral certainty Of reasoning from analogy J93 Of reasoning by induction '94. Of combined or accumulated arguments
.
.

CHAPTER
195
196.
197.

XII.

PEACTIC4L DIRECTIONS IN REASONING.


Rules relating to the practice of reasoning Of being influenced in reasoning by a love ol the truth . . Care to be used in correctly stating the subject of discussion Consider the kind of evidence applicable to the subject . the aid of false arguments or sophisms . Reiect Fallacia equivocations, or the use of equivocal terms and phrases Of the sophism of estimating actions and character from the circumstances of access meiely Of adherence to Ou.x opinions Effects on the mind of debating for victory instead of truth
. .

213
ib

198.

212 213
il

199. 200. 201.

215
21G 217 218

202. 203.

....
XIII.

CHAPTER

IMAGINATION
204 Imagination an intellectual rathei than a sensitive process The imagination closely related to the reasoning power 206 Definition of the power of imagination ^ 207. Process of the mind in the creations of the imagination 208 Further remarks on the same subject 209 Illustration from the writings of L>r Reid , 210. Grounds of the preference of one conception to another . 211. Illustration of the subject fiom Milton 212. The creations of imagination not entirely voluntaiy 21 3. Illustration of the statements of the preceding section 2] 4. On the utility of the faculty of the imagination 21 5 Importance of the imagination in connexion with reasoning
205.
. .

.219
220
221

222

.223
.

ib.

224 225
.

ib.

.
.

227 223 229

CHAPTER
(I )

XIV.

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.


EXCITED CONCEPTIONS OR APPARITIONS.
, .

216 Disordered intellectual action as connected with the body 217. Of excited conceptions and of apparitions in general 218 Of the less permanent excited conceptions of sight 819. Of the less permament excited conceptions of sound 220 First cause of permanently vivid conceptions or apparitions Morbid sensibility of the leiina of the eye
,

231
ib.

.232
.

2.M

....

23 r

CONTENTS.
Secboa

XI
Pa#>

221.

Second cau^e of permanently excited conceptions or ap{ antions. 23? Neglect of periodical blood-letting
. .

Third cause of excited conceptions Attacks of fever . .240 Fourth cause of apparitions and other excited conceptions. Inflammation of the brain 241 225 Facts having relation to the fourth cause of excited conceptions 212 236, Fifth cause of appantions 243 Hystena

222. 223. 224.

Methods of relief adopted

in this case

239

CHAPTER XV. DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.


(II
)

INSANITY.

227 228
229.

Meaning of the teim insanity

230
231
232. 233.

234 235
236,

237 238 239

or alienated sensations or alienated external perception . Disordered state or insanity of original suggestion Unsoundness or insanity of consciousness . . Insanity cf the judgment or relative suggestion Disordered or alienated association. Light-headedness Illustrations of this mental disorder Of partial insanity or alienation of the memory . . Of the power ol reasoning in the partially insane . of the above ioim of insanity ot reasoning Instance Partial mental alienation by means oi the imagination . Insanity oi alienation of the power of belief

Of disordered Of disordered

.... .... ....


.

244 245 246

.217
248

.249
.

250
251
ib,

. . .

253 254 255

256

DIVISION
SENTIENT OR SENSITIVE STATES
OU
1

II.
,

THE SENSIBILITIES.
THE

SflND

SENTIM ENT3

INTRODUCTION
CLASSIFICATION OP THE SENSIBILITIES
240 Reference to the general division of the whole mind 241 The action of the sensibilities implies that of the intellect . 242 Division of the sensibilities into natuial or pathematic, and-moral 243 The moral and natural sensibilities have different objects . . 244 The moral sensibilities higher in rank than the natural 245 The moral sensibilities wanting in brutes . . 246 Classification oi the natural sensibilities . 247 ( justification of the rnoial sensibilities
. . .
.

261
ib,

262 263 264


ib.

265 2GG

PART
CLASS
CHAPTER
248
249.

NATURAL OR PATHEMATIC
J

SENSIBILITIES.

NVTURAL, OR PATHEMATIC SFNTIME.NTS

EMOTIONS OK EMOTIVE STATES OF THE MIND


I.

NATURE OF THE EMOTIONS

We
The

have a knowledge of emotions by consciousness

.269

place of emotions, considered in reference to other mental 270 acts 250 The character of emotions changes so as to comform to that of 271 . perceptions . . ,272 251 Emotnns characteiized by rapidity ard variety

....

...

XJ1

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER
Section

11

LMOTION& OF BE1UTV
252 Characteristics of emotions of beauty
253.
255.
.

Of what is meant by beautiful objects 254 Of the distinction between beautiful and
Grounds or occasions of emotions
fitted to

other objects
.
.

P*9 273 374 275


.

256 All objects not equally


257.

258
239. 280.

261
262.

263 264
265.

266
267.

268 269

.270 of beauty various .27? cause these emotions A susceptibility of emotions of beauty an ultimate puncnle of our *78 mental constitution 279 Remarks on the beauty of forms The circle - 290 '1 he circle Original or intrinsic beauty Of the beauty of straight and angular forms {J> 2dl Of square, pyramidal, and triangular forms 283 Of the original or intrinsic beauty of colours 284 Further illustrations of the original beauty of colours 286 Of sounds considered as a source of beauty .287 Illustrations of the original beauty of sounds .290 . Further instances of the original beauty of sounds The permanency of musical power dependent on its being intrinsic ib 291 as an element of beauty Of motion . .292 Explanation of the beauty of motion from Kannes

....

CHAPTER

III

ASSOCIATED BEAUTY. 270. Associated beauty implies an antecedent or

intrinsic beauty

.
.

271. Objects may become beautiful by association 272. Further illustrations of associated feelings . 273 Instances of national associations
274.

merely
.

. .

29^ 294

.295

297 sources of associated beauty coincident with those of human 298 happiness 29 . . 275. Summary of views in regard to the beautiful

The

....
.
.

CHAPTER, IV
EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY. 276 Connexion between beauty and sublimity
.

300

277.

278
279. 280. 281. 282. 283. 284.

285 286 ?87

occasions of the emotions of sublimity various Great extent or expansion an occasion of sublimity Great height an element or occasion of sublimity Of depth in connexion with the sublime Of colours in connexion with the sublime Of sounds as furnishing an occasion of sublime emotions Of motion in connexion with the sublime Indications of power accompanied by emotions of the sublime Of the original or primary sublimity of objects Considerations in proof of the original sublimity of objects . Influence of association on emotions of sublimity
.

The

302
ib

303 304
ib.

3u5
30tf

...
.

307
b.

30S

CHAPTER

V.

EMOTIONS OF THE. LUDICROUS


. 288. General nature of emo* ons of the ludicrous . 289. Occasions of emotions of the ludicrous . . 290. Of what is understood by wit 291/- Of wit as it consists in burlesque JT in debasing objects . 292. Of wit when employed aggrandizing objects . 293 Of the character and occasions of humour . of feelings of the ludicrous 294 Of the practical utility

308

.310
311
,

ib.

.312
313
3)4

CONTENTS.

Xlll

CHAPTER
Bectiou

VI
Pag*

INSTANCES OF OTHER SIMPLE EMOTIONS *


Emotions of cheerfulness, joy, and gladness 296 Emotions of melancholy, sorrow, and grief . 297. Emotions of surprise, astonishment, and wonder
295.
.
.

.
.

314 315 310


ib.

98.

299. 300.

Emotions of dissatisfaction, displeasure, and disgust Emotions of diffidence, modesty, and shame Emotions of regard, reverence, and adoration

317
.
,

ib

CLASS

II

THE DESIRES. CHAPTER I


NATURE OF DESIRES.
the prevalence of desire in this department of the mind :&i 302. The nature of desires known from consciousness . ib 30J Of the place of desires in relation to other mental states . 322 304. The desires characterized by comparative fixedness and peima301.
.

Of

323 nency 305 Desires always imply an object desired 324 306 The fulfilment of desires attended with enjoyment ib 307. Of variations or degrees in the strength of the desires 325 308 Tendency to excite movement an attribute of desire ib 309 Classification of this part of the sensibilities 320 310 The principles, based upon desire, susceptible of a twofold operation 327
.
. .

....

...

CHAPTER
311. 312. 313.

II.

314
315.

INSTINCTS. Of instincts in man as compared with those o. inferior animals 328 Illustrations of the instincts of brute animals .ID. . .330 Instances of instincts in the human mind . men Further instances of instincts . 331 Of the final cause or use of instincts -, 332
1

....
.

CHAPTER
*
i316
*317.
^

III.

APPETITES.

Of the general nature and characteristics of the appetites The appetites necessary to our preservation, and not originally of
.

333
ib.

a selfish character
318.
1

1 9

Of the prevalence and origin of appetites for intoxicating drugs Of the twofold operation and the morality of the appetites
.

334 335

CHAPTER
0*20.

IV.

PROPENSITIES.
General remarks on the nature of the propensities
.
.

.336

321. Principle of self-preservation, or the desire of continued existence 337 , 338 322 Of the twofold action of the principle of self-preservation . ib. 323 Of curiosity, or the desire of knowledge 339 324 Further illustrations of the principle ot curiosity

325
32C 327

Of the twofold
osity

operation

and the morality of the

principle of cun,

....
...
.
.

340

Imitativeness, or the propensity to imitation Practical results of the principle of imitation

,341
342

CONTENTS.
Section

Of the natuial desire of esteem Of the desire of esteem as a rule of conduct Of the desire of possession 331. Of the moral character of the possessory principle 332 Of perversions of the possessory desire 333 Of the desire of power 234, Of the moral character of the desire of power
328 329 330
.
. .

.... .... ....


.
. . . .

Eafi 8

u35
136.

337
338. 329.

340
X41.

Propensity of self-love, or the desire of happiness Of selfishness as distinguished from self-love Reference to the opinions of philosophical writers The principle of sociality ongmal in the human mind E\idence of the existence of this principle of sociality Other illustrations of the existence of this principle Relation of the social principle to crvil society
.

341 345 B46 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 3??

.356

CHAPTER V
THE 11VLEVOLENT AFFECTIONS
342 343 344
- -

Of the comparative rank of the affections Of the complex nature of the affections -Of resentment Granger
Illustrations of instinctive

.
.

.358
359 360
361
.
,

...
.

345. S46. 347. 348. 349. 350. 351. 352.

resentment

Uses and moral character of instinctive resentment Of voluntary m distinction from instinctive resentment Tendency of anger to excess, and the natural checks to

ib

it

353 354

Other reasons for checking and subduing the angry passions Peevishness Modifications of resentment Modifications of resentment Envy . Modifications of resentment Jealousy Modifications of resentment Revenge Nature of the passion of fear

362 363 365

366 367 368 369


ib

CHAPTER

VI

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

355 Of the nature of love or benevolence m general 356 Love, in its various forms, chaiactenzed by a twofold action 357 Of the parental affection 358 Illustrations of the stiength of the paiental affection

...

371

372
374 375
376,

Of the filial affection 360 The filial affection original


359.

or implanted
.

361, Illustrations of the filial affection 362 Of the nature of the fraternal affection 363. On the utility of the domestic affections

37V 379 380


,

364
365.

Of

366. 367* 365.


369.

370
371. 372.

the moral character of the domestic affections, and of the be381 nevolent affections generally of the voluntary exercises of the benevo3S2 lent affections 383 Of the connexion between benevolence and rectitude 381 of the human race Of humanity, or the love Further proofs in support of the doctrine of an innate humanity, 380 or love for the human race Proofs of a humane or philanthropic p inciple from the existence 387 institutions of benevolent 388 Other remarks proof of the same doctrine 389 or love of country Oi

Of the moral character

....
.

373 374 T75

patriotism Of the affection of friendship Of the affection of pity or sympathy Of the moral character of pity Of the affection of gratitude

.......

... ...

390
391

392
394

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

VLJ

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.


LOVE TO THE SUPREME BEING.
.393 376 jlau created ougmally with the principle of love to God 377. That man was oiigmally created with a principle of love to God, 396 further shown from the Scriptures 390 378 Further pioof that man was thus created of the principle of supreme love to God to the other 379. Relation M principles of the pathematic sensibilities 380. The absence of this principle attended with an excessive and sin.

400 . . ful action of other principles 381. Further illustrations of the results of the absence of this principle 401
.
.

CHAPTER
382 083 384 ?85 '85

VIII.

HABITS OF TUB SENSIBILITIES. Meaning of the term habit Of habits in connexion with the appetites Of habits in connexion with the propensities Of habits in connexion with the affections Of the oiigm of secondary active principles

....
II.

404
>
.

.405
.

400 408

PART
,IORAL OR

THE MORAL SENSIBILITIES OR CONSCIENCE.


CONSCIENTIOUS STATES OP THE MIND.

MORAL SENTIMENTS

CHAPTER
3S7.

I.

EMOTIONS OP MORAL APPROVAL AND DISAPPROVAL.


413 Reference to the geneial division 414 Classification of the moral sensibilities ib 389. Nature of the moral emotions of approval and disapproval 390. Of the place or position, mentally considered, of the emotions of 416 , approval or disapproval the moral emotions take place in accordance with 391. Changes ib in the antecedent perceptions changes . 418 392. Of objects of moral approval and disapproval

388

CHAPTER
993

II.

RELATION OF REASONING TO THE MORVL NATURE doctrine which confounds reasoning and conscience close connexion between conscience and reasoning 394. 395 Illustration of the piecedmg section 396 Of the training or education of the conscience 997 Of guilt, when a person acts conscientiously

Of the Of the

. .
.

419 420 421 422

.423

CHAPTER
j98

III.

FEEDINGS OP MORAL OBLIGATION.


of moral approFeelings of moral obligation distinct from feelings 4 *4 . . val and disapproval ID existence of obligatory feelings from consciousness 399. Proof of the 425 400. Further proof from the conduct of men * 42C * . . 401. Further proof from language and literature 4*' . 402 Further proof from the necessity of these feelings

....
.

*V1
Section

CONTENTS.
?*$*

427 Feelings of obligation simple and not susceptible of definition .428 . . . They are susceptible of different degrees ib 405. Of their authoritative and enforcing nature 406. Feelings of obligation differ from those of mere approval and dis429 approval 430 407 Feelings of obligation have particular reference to the future 408. Feelings of obligation subsequent in time to the moral emotions
403 404

...
.
.

of approval and disapproval 409 Feelings of obligation differ from desires 410 t urther considerations on this subject

.431 .432
ID

CHAPTER
411.

IV

UNIFORMITY OF ACTION IN THE MORAL SENSIBILITIES.


433 . regulated 412. The nature of conscience, considered as a uniform principle of acwith circumtion, requires that it should vary in its decisions .434 . stances 413 Diversities in moral decisions dependent on differences in the . 436 amount of knowledge
pie on

Of uniformity

in tae decisions of the


it

moral nature and the pnnci


.

which

is

414.

Of

diversities in

moral judgment

... ... m
. .

connexion with differences


. .

415
~"~

in civil and political institutions Of diversities and obliquities ot

437
ib.

moral judgment

in

co&nenon
.

416

. . , with speculative opinions Further illustrations of the influence of wrong speculative opin-

ions 417. Influence of early associations on moral judgments 418 Of diversities in the moral judgment in connexion with an state of the passions
.

...

439
.

.440
441

emiV

CHAPTER V
MORAL EDUCATION.
. . 419. Suggestions on the importance of moral education . 420 The mind early occupied either with good or bad principles . 121. Of the time when moral instruction ought to commence 422 Of the discouragements attending a process of moral instruction 423. Of the importance, in a moral point of view, ot adopting correct
. .

44U
443

444 445 440

124.

Of

speculative opinions the knowledge of the ligious truth generally

Supreme Being, aid

of the study of re447

THE

SENSIBILITIES,

OR SENSITIVE NATURE

SENSITIVE STATES OP THE MIND OR SENTIMENTS

PART

III.

IMPERFECT OR DISORDERED SENSITIVE ACTION.

CHAPTER
SITIES
425. Introductory

DISORDERED AND ALIENATED ACTION OF THE APPETITES AND PROPEN


remarks on disordered sensitive action meant by a disordered and alienated state of the sensi
.
. .

451
1

426
<97

Of what is
bihties

Of the

disordered and alienated action of the appetites

45,<

CONTENTS
fecctioj

XVI)
Pag<*
.

428. Disordered acuoi. of the principle of self-pieservation 429. Disordered and alienated action of the possessory principle
130,

454 465
ib

i3l

32 433

^34 4^5

Instances of the second kind or form of disordered action of Lho . . possessory principle Disordered action of imitativeness, or the principle of imitation . Disordered action of the principle of sociality Further remaiks on the disordered action of the social propensity Of the disordered action of the desire of esteem . . Disordered action of the desire of power

...

....
.

45G 457 458 459 4CO

CHAPTER

II.

SYMPATHETIC IMITATION.
436 Of sympathetic imitation, and what is involved in it 437. Familiar instances of sympathetic imitation 438. Instances of sympathetic imitation at the poor-house of Harlem 439 Other instances of this species of imitation
.
. .

.....
.
.

461 462 4C3


4ft!

CHAPTER IK DISORDERED ACTION OF THE AFFECTIONS. 440 Of the states of mind denominated presentiments 441 Of sudden and strong impulses of the mind
.

. .
.

.463
.

442 443 444

. Insanity of the affections, or passions . Of the mental disease termed hypochondnasis Of intermissions of hypochondnasis, and of its remedies . 445. Disordered action of the passion of fear . 446 Perversions of the benevolent affections
.

467 4CS 4G9


471

473
ib

CHAPTER
4 17.

IV

DISORDERED ACTION OF THE BIORA! SENSIBILITIES


. 47o Nature of voluntary moral derangement 448 Of accountability in connexion with this form of disordered con. .

149
ITX3

47science . . . .477 Of natural or congenital moral derangement Of moral accountabjli y in cases of natural or congenital moral . . 47$ derangement
,

...

MENTAL PHILOSOPHY.

DIVISION FIRST.
THE INTELLECT OR UNDERSTANDING.
INTELLECTIVE OR INTELLECTUAL STATES OP THE MIND.

PART FIRST.
INTELLECTUAL STATES OF EXTERNAL ORIGIN

MENTAL PHILOSOPHY,
CHAPTER
OKIGIN OF
1

I.

KNOWLEDGE

IN

GENERAL.

The mind

susceptible of a thieefold division

as a whole, is undoubledbe considered as constituting a nature or existence which is truly, and in the strictest sense, one and indivisAt the same time, if we would have a co. *w u 7 ible.
i)

THE Human Mind, regarded


to

..

necessary to co^ *,' it in three distinct points of view. Accordingly, ; ~ Divisions in which the Mind presents its<, i' ing M-> .\, are the Understanding or Intellect, the notice, The states of mind whicV "- 'ruties, and the Will. results of the action of these leading mental dej^'uv-^A. J are appropriately expressed by the phrases TNTEJ, " : ; n *''. SENSITIVE Or SENTIENT, and VOLUNTARY States of It is the object of this Abridgment to exaiK.v. i" brief a manner as possible, the Divisions which "V'yar/ come first in order, viz., the Intellect and the Sen-i 3Ji kr.
it, it is
'<

thorough knowledge of

^
r
>

The

limits

which we

find

present undertaking, do
Will.
t)

necessary to assr. not allow us to enter iii


it

to
.

"

i
'

amination of the distinct and important departed,

'

The

Intellect &,uscepuble of a

suboidmate div

begin with the Intellect or Understanding ; thai we perceive, department of the mind by means of which modes of compare, and reason ; and which, in its various The Intelaction, is the source of all our knowledge. lectual part of man may be considered under two points of view, viz., the External Intellect and the Internal Intellect; in other

We

words, intellectual states of External,


Intellectual origin. for their existence \ipou

and

intellectual states of Internal

states of

External origin depend

18

ORIGIN OF

KNOWLEDGE

IN

GENERAL.

the existence and presence of external objects. If the insulated and cut off from the outward and material world, or if there were no such outward world, we could not touch, nor hear, nor see. All those mental states which we express when we speak of the diversities of touch, and smell, and taste, of sound and sight, are immediately dependent on the existence and presence of something which is exterior to the intellect itself. But there are other states of the Intellect, such, for instance, as are expressed by the words TRUTH, FALSEHOOD,

mind were

POWER, INTELLIGENCE, MERIT, DEMERIT, CAUSE, OBLIGATION, &c., which are not thus closely connected with external And these, in distinction from those of Exterthings. nal origin, are denominated intellectual states of Internal
origin.
$ 3

Of

the connexion of the

mind with

the material world


is

As a general
nal in
its

statement, the
is

knowledge which

Exter-

acquired first the knowledge which is The mind, whatever may ultiInternal is subsequent. mately be found to be the extent of its powers of perception, appears, in the first instance, to be wholly destitute
origin
first brought into action, put in the way of acquiring knowledge, by means Df its connexion with the material or outward world. This leads us to remark, that there is a correspondence,

of

any actual knowledge ; and is


is

and

mutual adaptation, between the mind and outward mathings. They appear to be made for each other. The Creator has obviously established a close relation between them ; and it is a striking and important fact, that, in this connexion of the mental and material world, as we have just had occasion to intimate, we are probai

terial

bly to look for the commencement of the mind's activity, and for the beginnings of knowledge.
ture,

The soul, considered in its relationship to external namay be compared to a stringed instrument Re-

garded in itself, it is an invisible existence, having the The nerves, the eye, capacity and elements of harmony and the senses generally, are the chords and artificial framework which God has woven round its unseen and This living and curious instruunsearchable essence.

ORIGIN OF

KNOWLEDGE

IN

GENERAL.

19

ment,

made up

of the invisible soul and the bodily fiameis

work which surrounds it, Nor does it appear that it

at

first

voiceless

and
its

silent.

will ever send forth

sounds

of harmony, until it is touched and operated upon by those outward influences which exist in the various forms and adaptations of the material world. Under these influences
6 4.
it is first
first

awakened

into activity.
of a material or external origin

Our

knowledge

m general

we lay down the general principles, FIRST, that during the early period of life there is an intimate connexion between the mind and the material world ; and, SECOND, that far the greater portion of the mind's acts during that period can be
In accordance with what has been said,

In proof of both positions, traced to a material source. the latter, we may properly attend to the folparticularly

lowing considerations. What has been said will, in the first place, be (I.) found agreeable to each one's individual experience. If

we

look back to the early periods of life, we discover, not merely that our ideas are then comparatively few in number, but that far the greater proportion of them are suggested by external objects. They are forced upon us by our immediate wants ; they have relation to what we ourselves see, or hear, or touch ; and only a small proAs we advance in portion are internal and abstract years, susceptibilities of the mind are brought into exercise, which have a less intimate connexion with things external; and thoughts from within are more rapidly have in some measmultiplied than from without. ure exhausted that which is external ; and as the mind, awakened to a love of knowledge and a consciousness of its powers, has at last been brought fully into action by means of repeated affections of the senses, a new
*

We

itself

world (as yet in some degree a TERRA INCOGNITA) projects upon our attention, where ^ e are called upon to push our researches and gratify our curiosity. This is the general experience, the testimony which each one can
give for himself.
$

Shown

further from

what we notice

in children.

Tn Jhr second place, what has been said finds eonfirnra-

20
tion in
infants

ORIGIN OF

KNOWLEDGE

IN

GENERAL.

what we observe of the progress of the mind in and children generally. The course of things which we observe in them, agrees with what our personal consciousness and remembrance, as far back as it goes, enables us to testify with no little confidence in our own No one can observe the operations of the mind in case.
infants

and children, without being led to believe, that the Creator has instituted a connexion between the mind and the material world, and that the greater portion of

our early knowledge is from an outward source. To the infant its nursery is the world. The first ideas of the human race are its particular conceptions of its nurse and mother ; and the origin and history of all its notions may be traced to its animal wants, to the light that breaks in from its window, and to the few objects in

When

the immediate neighbourhood of the cradle and hearth. it has become a few years of age, there are other

sources of information, other fountains of thought, but and material. The child then they are still external learns the topography of his native village ; he explores the margin of its river, ascends its flowering hills, and

of its valleys. His mind js full penetrates the seclusion of activity ; new and exalting views crowd upon his perand hears, and handles ; he wonceptions ; he beholds,
ders,

And it is not till after he has is delighted. the elements of knowledge which the outward grasped world oives, that he retires within himself, compares, effects. reasons, and seeks for causes and It is in accordance with what has now been stated of
and
the tendencies of
instructed
their teachers make an abtures of such objects. do stract statement to them of an action or event, they

them

mind in children, that we generally find by means of sensible objects, or by pic-

When

it with an appearance it ; they listen to of 'confusion and vacancy, for the process is undoubtedly But show them the objects themselves, against nature. or a faithful picture of them, and interpret your abstract a reference to the object or picture, and expressions by are observed to learn with rapidity and pleasurethey arrived for the springing up and The time has not

not understand

yet

uiowth of thoughts of an internal and abstract

origin.

ORIGIN OF
$ 6.

KNOWLEDGE

IN

GENERAL.

21

Fuithcr proof of the beginnings of knowledge from extemal causes.

In the third place, the history of language is a strong proof of the correctness of the position, that the mind is first brought into action by means of the senses, and acquires
its

earliest

words are few

in

tent of ideas. for example, which inhabit the American continent) is in general exceedingly limited. The growth of a language corresponds to the growth of mind ; it extends itself by

knowledge from that source. At first number, corresponding to the limited exThe vocabulary of savage tribes (those,

the increased

number and power of

Now the history of all increased complexity of thought. languages teaches us, that words, which were invented and brought into use one after another in the gradual way just mentioned, were first employed to express external objects, and afterward were used to express thoughts of
internal origin.

in exact correspondence

its words, nearly with the multiplication and the

Almost all the words in every language, expressive of the susceptibilities and operations of the mind, may be clearly shown to have had an external origin and appliTo IMAGINE, cation before they were applied to the mind. in its literal signification, implies the forming of a picture $ to IMPRESS conveys the idea of leaving a stamp or mark, as the seal leaves its exact likeness or stamp on wax ; to REFLECT literally means to turn back, to go over the ground These words cannot be applied to the mind again, &c. in the literal sense ; the nature of the mind will not admit of such an application ; the inference therefore is, that Now if it be an they first had an external application. established truth, as the history of languages seems to show that it is, that all language has a primary reference to external objects, and that there is no term expressive of mental acts which was not originally expressive of something material, the conclusion would seem to be a fan: one, that the part of our knowledge which has its rise by means of the senses, is, as a general statement, first in And the more so, when we combine with these origin. views the considerations which have been previously advanced.

22

ORIGIN OF
<5

KNOWLEDGE

IN

GENERAL.

7.

The same

subject further illustiated


it is

And,

in the fourth place,,

not too

much

to say, that

which have been made on persons who, from their birth or at any subsequent period, have been deprived of any of the senses, and all the extraordinary facts which have come to knowledge, having a bearing on this inc \iiry, go strongly in favour of the views which have been given. It appears, for instance, from the observations which have been made in regard to persons who have been deaf until a particular period, and then have been restored to the power of hearing, that they have never previously had those ideas which naturally come in
all the observations

by

that sense.
is

sult

the

same

If a person has been born blind, the reor if, having the sense of sight, it has so

happened

that he has never seen any colours of a particIn the one case, he has no ideas of colular description. ours at all; and in the other, only of those colours which he has seen. It may be said, perhaps, that this is what

might be expected, and merely proves the senses to be a source of knowledge, without necessarily involving the to what has an internal origin. priority of that knowledge But then observe the peisons referred to a little further, and it will be found, as a general statement, that the internal powers of their minds have not been unfolded ; they measure in their original darklay wrapped up in a great ness ; no inward light springs up to compensate for the absence of that which, in other cases, buists in from the This circumstance evidently tends to outward world.
confirm the principles which
lustrate.

we

are endeavouring to

il-

Of those extraordinary instances to which we alluded, as having thrown some light on the history of our intellectual acquisitions, is the aocount which is given in the Memoirs of the French Academy of Sciences for the year
1703, of a deaf and dumb young man in the city of CharAt the age of three-and-twenty, it so happened, to the great surprise of the whole town, that he was suddenly lestored to the sense of hearing, and in a short time he acquired the use of language. Deprived for so long a period of a sense which, in importance, ranks with the sight and the touch, unable to hold communion with hi?
tres

ORIGIN OF

KNOWLEDGE

IN

GENERAL.

2.1

fellow-beings by means of oral or written language, and not paiticularly compelled, as he had every care taken of him by his friends and relations, to bring his faculties intc
exercise, the

powers of

his

mind remained without havBeing examined

ing opportunity to unfold themselves.

of discernment, it was found that he had no idea of a God, of a soul, of the moral merit or demerit

by some

men

of human actions, and, what might seem to be yet more remarkable, he knew not what it was to die ; the agonies of dissolution, the grief of friends, and the ceremonies of interment being to him inexplicable mysteries. Here we see how much knowledge a person was deprived of, merely by his wanting the single sense of hearCreing ; a proof that the senses were designed by our ator to be the first source of knowledge, and that without them the faculties of the soul would never become operative.
$

S
is

Illustration

fiom the case of James Mitchell

But

this

genious
i.,)

men

not the only instance of this sort which inhave noticed and recorded. In the Transac-

Royal Society at Edinburgh, (vol. vii., part a Memoir communicated by Dugald Stewart, which of James Mitchell, a hoy born deaf and gives an account The history of this lad, who laboured under the blind. uncommon affliction of this double deprivation, illustrates and confirms all that has been above stated. He made what use he could of the only senses which he possessed, those of touch, taste, and smell, and gained from them a number of ideas. It was a proof of the diligence with
is

tions of the

ground m the neighbourhood of the house where he lived for hundreds of yards. But deprived of and of intercourse by speech, it was sight, of hearing, as might be exvery evident to those who observed him, that his knowledge was in amount exceedingly pected, He was destitute of those perceptions which are small. senses of which he was deappropriate to the particular and also of many other notions of an internal 5 prived have arisen, if the origin, which would undoubtedly
plored the

which he employed the limited means which were given him, that he had by the sense of touch thoroughly ex-

*24

SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

mind had previously been fully powers of the means of those assistances which it usually operative by Such instances as these, receives from the bodily organs. however they may at first appear, are extremely impor furnish us with an appeal, not to mere spectank

rendered

And it is only by checking undue fact. and by continually recurring to facts, that speculation, our progress in this science will become sure, rapid, and
ulations,

They

but to

delightful.

CHAPTER

II.

SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.


9
Sensation a simple mental state originating in the senses

IN tracing the history of that portion of human thought is of external origin, w^e have frequent occasion to make use of the words Sensation and Perception. The term SENSATION is not of so general a nature as to include but is limited to such as every variety of mental state, answer to a particular description. It does not appear that the usage of language would forbid our speaking of &e feelings of warmth, and coldness, and hardness, as well as of the feelings of love, and benevolence, and anforbid our using the term SEN^Abut it would

which

ger,

clearly

Its applicaTION with an application equally extensive. tion is not only limited, but is fixed with a considerable degree of precision. Sensation, being a simple act or state of the mind, is and this is one of its characunsusceptible of definition ; As this alone, however, would not separate it teristics. from many other mental states, it has this peculiarity to
it is immediately successive to a change distinguish it, that in some organ tf sense, or, at least) to a bodily change of some kind. But it is evident, that, in respect to numerous

other feelings, this statement does not hold good. They are immediately subsequent, not lo bodily impressions, Hence it is, thai hut to other states of the soul itself.

SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.


while

25

we

speak of the sensations of heat and cold, of

hardness, of smoothness, roughness, and the like, we do not commonly apply this term to joy and sorrow, hatred and love, and other emotions and passions.
10
All sensation
is

properly and truly

m the

mind

Sensation-is often regarded as something having a position, and as taking place in the body, and particularly The sensation of touch, as we of sense. in the

organ

is in the hand, which is the organ of touch, and is not truly internal ; the hearing is in the ear, and the vision in the eye, and not in the soul. But all with truth and on we can grounds is, that the

seem

to imagine,

good say and necessary organs of sense are accessory to sensation to it ; but the sensation or feeling itself is wholly in the How often it is said the eye sees ; but the psoper mind. at tlie subject philosophically, is, language, if we look that the soul sees ; for the eye is only the organ, instrument, or minister of the soul in visual perceptions. " cannot see the satellites " man," says Dr Reid, Does he conclude from a telescope. of Jupiter but by this that it is the telescope that sees those stars ? By

no means; such a conclusion would be absurd. It is ro less absurd to conclude that it is the eye that sees, or the ear that hears. The telescope is an artificial organ of but it sees not The eye is a natural organ
sight,
lie

sight,

by which we see

but the natural organ sees as

pi* lit

as the artificial."

$11. Sensations

are not

images or resemblances of objects

But while we

are careful to assign sensations their true

to look upon what is outward in place in the mind, and &e body as merely the antecedents or cause of them, it is

a matter of some consequence to guard against a danger

of that which has been remarked on. diiectly the reverse are apt to transfer to the sensation, considered as exsome of those qualities which belong to in the

We

isting

mind,

jects

But in point of fact, our sensations the external object. are by no means copies, pictures, or images of outward obin any material nor are representations of them
;

sense whatever

they nor do they possess any of their qualities ;

26
It is true,

SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

we

often think

it

otherwise

constantly oc

cupied with external objects, when in the act of con templation we retire within the mind, we unwarily carrj with us the form and qualities of matter, and stamp its But the thought, whatev.Ikeness on the thought itself. er it may by the constitution of our nature be the sign of, has no form, and presents no image analogous to what are outwardly objects of touch and sight ; nor has it form or image in any sense which we can conceive of. When, therefore, "Vre have an idea of some object as round, we are not to infer, from the existence of the quality in the outward object, that the mental state is possessed of the same quality. When we think of anything as extended it is not to be supposed that the thought itself has extenWhen we behold and admire the varieties of sion. colour, we are not at liberty to indulge the presumption
that the inward feelings are painted over, and radianl with corresponding hues. There is nothing of the kind ; and the admission of such a principle would lead to a

multitude of errors.
$

12.

The connexion between the

mental and physical change not capa-

ble of explanation

(I.)

there
is.

is

External bodies operate on the senses, before any affection of the mind, but it is not easy to say
precise character
this operation of affecting the object capable

what the

and extent of

We know that some

organ must be applied to it in some way either directly or of knowledge also, that some indirectly, and it is a matter change in the organ actually takes place; but further than this we are involved in uncertainty. All we can undertake to do at present is merely to make a statement of the facts, viz., the application of an external body,

and some change


sense.
at its extremity
(II.)

in consequence of

it

in the

organ of

Subsequently to the change in the organ, either and outward developement or in the with which it is connected, and of which it may be brain, considered as making a part, a change in the mind or a
state of the

new
also

mind immediately takes

we

are limited to the

Here place. mere statement of the fact

SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

27

here touch upon one of those boundaries of the inwhich men are probahly not destined to pass in the find ourselves unable to resolve and present life.
tellect

We

We

explain the connexion between mind and matter in this All we know, and all we case, as we do in all others. can state with confidence is, that a mental affection is

immediately subsequent to an affection or change which Such is our nature, and such the appointphysical. ment of Him who ordered it.
is
13.

Of

the meaning and nature of perception

next come to the subject of PERCEPTION, which is This term, intimately connected with that of sensation. like many others, admits of a considerable latitude in its
are not only said of perceiving outward objects, but also power of perceiving the agreement or disagreement in the acts Df the mind itself. Accordingly, we perceive a tree in the forest or a ship at sea, and we also perceive that the
application. to have the

We

In

common language we

is greater than a part, and that the three angles of a triangle are equal 1o two right angles. But what we have to say here does not concern internal perception, but merely that which relates to objects exterior to the mind Perception, using the term in its application to outward objects, differs from sensation as a whole does from a part ; it embraces more. It may be defined, therefore, an affection or state of the mind which is immediately successive to certain affections of the organs of sense, and which is

whole

referred by us to something external as


,$ 14. Perception

its cause.

makes us acquainted with a material world.

be recollected, that the term SENSATION, when to the mind, expresses merely the state of the applied mihd, without reference to anything external, which might be the cause of it, and that it is the name of a truly simPerception, on the contrary, is the name of ple feeling. a complex mental state, including not merely the internal affection of the mind, but also a reference to the exterioi
It will

cause.

ries us, as it

is wholly within ; but Perception carwere, out of ourselves, and makes us acquainted with the world around us. It is especially fry

Sensation

28

SENSAT TON AND PERCEPTION.


this last

means of

mony The mind would seem to constitute everything we could know no other world, no other form of being. ^Percep;

in all its power, that material nature, is brought within the range varieties of form and beauty, If we had but sensation alone, there of our inspection. would still be form, and fragrance, and colour, and harof sound, but it would seem to be wholly inward

tion prevents the possibility of

such a mistake

it

unde-

that all ceives things dissipates the flattering notion, are in the soul ; it leads us to other existences, and, in of the vast and complicated to the

and

particular, knowledge iabric of the material creation.


15.

Of

the primary

and secondary

qualities of

matter

be noticed that SENSATION implies the existence of an external material world ES its cause, and that PERCEPTION implies the same existence both, as cause and object. It is hardly necessary to

From what has been

said, it

will

we are altogether ignorant of the subjective or jay, that Our knowledge embraces merely real essence of matter.
its qualities

or properties, and nothing more.

Without

a minute examination of them,^ it proposing will be proper to state here, that the qualities of material bodies have been ranked by writers under the two heads
to enter into

distinctly

of Primary and Secondary. The PRIMARY QUALITIES are known by being essential to me existence of all bodies. They are extension, figure, and some writers have included divisibility, and solidity ; are called PRIMARY for the reason already motion. They referred to, that all men embrace them in the

notions which they form of matter, and that they are esAll bodies have extension, all sential to its existence. bodies Hve figure, all are capable of division, all possess

the attribute of solidity. By SOLIDITY in bodies (perhaps some would prefer the term RESISTANCE) is to be understood that quality by which a body hinders the approach of others between which it In this sense even water, and all other is
interposed.
If particles of water could be prevented from separating, they would oppose so great resistance, that it would be impossible for an} two bodies between
fluids are solid.

SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

29

which they might be to come in contact. This was in an experiment which was once made at Floi> A quantity of water was enclosed in a gold ball, ence. which, on the most violent pressure, could not be made to fill the internal cavity until the water inside was forced through the pores. Theie is reason also for that part of the arrangement which includes DIVISIBILITY. We cannot conceive of a particle so small as not to be susceptible of division. And to that small particle must belong, not only divisi* bility, but the qualities of solidity, extension, and figure.

shown

16

Of the secondary

qualities of matter.

qualities of bodies are of two Mnds. (1.) Those which have relation to the perceiving and

The SECONDARY
mind ;

sentient bodies.

(2.)

Those which have relation

to other

fiist class are to be included sound, colour, hardness and softness, heat and cold, roughness and smoothness, &c. When we say of a body it has sound, we imply in this remark that it possesses qualities which will cause certain effects in the mind; the term sound being applicable, by the use of language, both to the qualities of the external object and to the efWhen we say^ it has colour, we fect produced within. always make a like reference to the mind, which beholds and contemplates it ; and it is the same of the other secondary qualities of this description. The other class of secondary qualities, (or properties, as they are not unfrequently termed,) those which have

Under the

taste, smell,

relation to other material bodies, are exceedingly various and numerous. The material substance which, in relation to the mind, possesses the qualities of sound and col-

our,

ities

also, in relation to other bodies, the qualor properties of malleability, fusibility, solubility* permeability, and the like.

may possess

THE SENSES OF SMELL AND TASTE

CHAPTER

ID.

THE SENSES OF SMELL AND TASTE.


as a source of knowledge. $ 17. Nature and importance of the senses

IT is desirable to keep clearly in mind the precise relation of the senses to the origin, progress, and amount and to possess, if possible, a correct of our

knowledge,

evidence of the correctness of this remark, that the Suwith all those outpreme Being has a full acquaintance which present themselves to our notice, ward
objects

to ascribe knowledge which we are accustomed There is nothing unwarrantable and unreasonable in the supposition that the knowledge which we now have by their means might have been possessed without their aid, either immediately, or in some way Their use and mdispensableness in altogether different. the acquisition of a certain portion of what men are permitted to know, is a matter of arrangement and appointment on the part of our Maker. It is undoubtedly an
to

nished, of that

In a certain sense, the understanding of their true value. of the bodily organs with which we are furpossession is not essential and prerequisite to the possession
^

them.

without being indebted to any material instrumentality and mediation. He perceives in another way, or, rather, all knowledge is inherent in, and originally and unalterably essential to himself. It is not so, as we have reason to believe, with any other beings, and certainly not with man. Although a of his knowledge relates to material things, he great part is so formed, and his constitution is so ordered, that he is senses. Deprive him of wholly dependent for it on the the and all nature becomes silent; deprive him of
^

the eye, and the sun and moon withdraw their light, and the universe becomes darkened \ deprive him of the sense of touch, and he is then entirely insulated, and as much cut off from all communication with others as if he were
the only being in existence.

ear,

THE SENSES OF SMELL AND TASTE.


()

31

18.

Connexion of

the brain with sensation

and perception

these views perhaps be asked. Whether (I.) ELC intended to exclude the "brain, as having a connexion with the senses in the results which are here ascribed to them ? And this inquiry leads us to observe, (what has been before alluded to,) that the brain is a prominent orof sensation and gan in the material part of the process Tlie senses evidently cannot be of external
It

may

perception.

But the substance separated from the nervous system. which is found in the nerves, excepting the coat in which the brain, being of the it is enveloped, is the same as in
same
fibrous texture, and in continuity with it. statement, when the brain has been in any the inward sensation, which would otherwise be distinct on the presence of an external body, is Also, if the nerve be injured, or if its contiimperfect. the pressure of a tight ligature, the nuity be disturbed by effect is the same ; a circumstance which goes to confirm
soft

and

As a general way injured,

the alleged identity of substance in the two. and whatever of the sam (H.) The brain, therefore, substance is in continuity with it, particularly the nerves, constitutes the sensorial organ, which, in the subordinate
itself

hearing, presents organs of tgste, smell, sight, touch, under different modifications to external objects. On this organ, the sensorial, as thus explained, an impression must be made before there can be sensation and perception.

and

sensorial

instance,' is made on that part of the called the auditory nerve, and a state of organ mind immediately succeeds which is variously termed, acwhich it is contemplated, either cording to the view in the sensation or the perception of sound. the rays of light on that eximpression is made by of the optic nerve which forms what is called the pansion

An impression, for

An

RETINA of the eye, and the intellectual principle is immeinto that new position, which is termed diately brought visual perception or a perception of sight. The hand is impressed on a body of an uneven and on this applirough surface, and immediately consequent is that state of mind which is termed cation and
$

pressure a sensation or perception of roughness.

32
19
fri

THE SENSES OF SMELL AND TASTE.


Order

m which

the senses are to be considered.

considering those ideas which we become possessed of by means of the senses, it is natural to begin with that sense which will cause us the least difficulty in the analto proceed to others successively, ysis of its results ; and It may not be as we find them increasing in importance.
it

with strictness, but altogether easy to apply this principle will answer all the purpose for which it is here intioduced, if we consider the senses in the following order,

the smell, taste, hearing, touch, and sight. The mind holds a communication with the material world by means of the sense of smelling. All animal and vegetable bodies (and the same will probably hold good of other bodies, though generally in a less degree) are continually sending out effluvia of great subtilty. These small particles are rapidly and widely scattered

abroad in the neighbourhood of the body from which they No sentient being can come within the circumproceed. ference occupied by these continually moving and volatile atoms, without experiencing effects from it.
20

Of

the sense and sensations of smell

The medium through which we have


and perceptions of

the sensations

partly

smell, is the organ which is termed the olfactory nerve, situated principally in the nostrils, but some odoriferin some continuous cavities.

When

ous particles, sent from external objects, affect this organ, there is a certain state of mind produced which varies with the nature of the odoriferous bodies. But we can no more infer from the sensation itself merely, that there exists any necessary connexion between the smell and the external objects, than that there exists a connexion between the emotions of joy and sorrow and the same obIt might indeed be suggested to us by the change jects. in our mental states, that there must be some cause or antecedent to the change, but this suggestion would be far fi om implying the necessity of a corporeal cause. How then does it happen, that we are not merely (II.) sensible of the paiticular sensation, but refer it at once to souie external object, to the rose, or the honeysuckle 1
In Answer
it

may be remarked,

if

we had

always beeD

THE SENSES OF SMELL AND TASTE.

33

destitute of the senses of sight and touch, this reference never could have been made ; but, having been furnished

with them by the beneficent Author of our being, we **)jake this reference by experience. When we have seen the rose, when we have been near to it and handled it, we have uniformly been conscious of that state of mind which we term a sensation of smell. When we have come into the neighbourhood of the honeysuckle, or when it has been gathered and presented to us, we have been reminded of its fragrance. And thus, having learned by experience that the presence of the odorifeious body is always attended with the sensations of smell, we form the habit of attributing the sensations to that body as their cause
21

Of perceptions

of smell in distinction from sensations

The mental reference spoken of in the made with almost as much promptness as
cessarily involved in the sensation
itself.

last section is
if it

were ne-

It is at least so

to mark the rapid, that we find ourselves utterly unable mind's progress from the inward feeling to the concepNor is this inability surprition of the outward cause. when \ve consider that we have repeated this pro sing, cess, both in this and in analogous cases, from our earli No object has ever been present to ui est childhood. capable of operating on the senses, where this process h&,

not been gone through.

The

result of this long-contin-

ued and frequent repetition has been an astonishing quick* ness in the mental action ; so much so that the mind leaps outward with the rapidity of lightning, to be present with, and to comprehend the causes of the feeling within. This view, it will be seen, helps in illustrating the naThe ture of PERCEPTION as distinguished from sensation. outlines of that distinction have already been given; and as that now under considevery one of the senses, as well Acwill furnish proofs and illustrations of it. eiation,
to perceive the smell, or to cordingly, when we are said have perceptions of the smell of a body, the rapid process which has been described is gone through, and tht three things which were involved in the definition of Perare supposed to exist; (1.) The ception, already given, of the odoriferous body and the affection of its presence

34

THE SENSES OF SMELL AND TASTE.


;

appropriate organ

(2.)

mind;
ternal

and., (3.)

The

The change or sensation in the reference of the sensation to the ex-

body

as its cause.

22

Of

the sense

and the sensations of taste

organ immediately and that is at once followed by a mental affection In this way we have the senor a new state of the mind. sations and perceptions, to which we give the names sweet, bitter, sour, acrid, &c. affections Having experienced the inward sensation, the of the mind are then referred by us to something external do not, however, always, nor even genas their cause.
tion
;

with numerous nervous tongue, which is covered forms essentially the organ of taste, although papillae, the papillae are found scattered in other parts of the caviThe application of any sapid body to ty of the mouth. causes in it a change or affecthis

The

We

which constitute this cause by separate and appropriate designations; but express them by the names that are employed for the internal
the qualities erally, distinguish
reference of

&c. This feeling, viz., sweetness, bitterness, sourness, to its external what is experienced
internally
is

that we at once very rapidly made ; so one apple it is sweet, and of another it is sour.^ is to be kept in mind, that, in point of fact, it is of nature and of time, quent, both in the order mere sensation ; although we may not be able, in

cause

say of
Still it

subseto the

conse-

the progress of quence of its rapidity, to mark distinctly As in the case the mental action from the one to the other. of smells, which have already been remarked upon, the We say reference is the result of our former experience. of one body it is sweet, and of another it is sour, because we have ever observed that the mental states inthose terms have always existed in connexion dicated

by

with the presence of those bodies. "Whenever, therefore, we say of any bodies that they are sweet, bitter,, sour, or apply any other epithets exof sapid qualities, we mean to be understood to
pressive

the constitution of say that such bodies are fitted, in to 3aruse in the mind the sensations of sweetness, tMngs, bv bitterness, and sourness, or other sensations expressed

THE SENSE OF HEARING.

35

denominations of taste. Or, in other words, that they are the established antecedents of such mental states, as there is, further than this, no necessary connexion be fween them.

CHAPTER

IV.

THE SENSE OF HEARING.


23.

Organ of the sense of hearing.

FOLLOWING the order which has been proposed, we are next to consider the sense of HEADING. And, in proceedconsideration of this subject, the remark is a ing to the obvious one, that we should be unable to hear if we very had not a sense designed for, and appropriate to, that reThe air, when put strongly in motion, is distinctly sult. the touch; but no impression which it could perceived by make on that sense would cause that internal feeling Our Creator, which is termed a sensation of sound.
these sensations shall have therefore, has taken cate that and their own organ ; and it is obviously one of precise

elaborate workmanship. The ear is designedly planted in a position where, is with the ease, it takes cognizance of whatever
greatest

When we exgoing on in the contiguous atmosphere. it externally, we not only find it thus favourably amine a hollowed and capacious sursituated, but presenting as to grasp and gather in the undulaface, so formed around it. tions of air, continually floating and in motion to give a minute description Without, however, delaying

of the internal construction of the ear, which belongs our present purrather to the physiologist, it will answer to add, that these undulations are conducted pose merely a till they are brought in by it through various windings, the membrane state of concentration, as it were, against of notice, that on the the TYMPANUM. It is
called

worthy

internal surface of this


is

it is pop(the drum, as a nerve spread out in a manner there ularly called) the expansion of the optic nerve at thebotanalogous to

membrane

36
torn of the eye.

THE SENSE OF HEARLTO.

Whether this nervous expansion be indispensably necessary to the result or not, it is certain that a pressure upon or affection of the tympanum by the external air, is followed by a new state of the mind, known as the sensation or perception of sound.
24
Yaneties of the sensation of sound.

sensations which we thus become possessed of by the words and hearing are far more numerous than Ihe forms of speech, having relation to them in different It will help to illanguages, would lead us to suppose. lustrate this subject if we recur a moment to the sense

The

f'ie

The remark has somewhere been made to this and probably with much truth, that if a person were to examine five hundred different wines, he would hardly find two of them of precisely the same flavour The diversity is almost endless, although there is no language which distinguishes each variety of taste by a sepIt is the same in respect to the sensations arate name.
of TASTE.
effect j

These sensations exhibit the greatest variety, although their differences are too minute to be separately and distinctly represented by language. These views will appear the less objectionable when it is remembered that sounds differ from each other both It is remarkin the tone and in the strength of the tone. ed by Dr. Reid, that five hundred variations of tone may be perceived by the ear, also an equal number of variations in the strength of the tone ; making, as he expresstones and of the ly informs us, by a combination of the degrees of strength, more than twenty thousand simple
of sound.
sounds, differing either in tone or strength. In a perfect tone, a great many undulations of elastic air are required, which must be of equal duration and
extent,

and follow each other with perfect regularity. Each undulation is made up of the advance and retreat of innumerable particles, whose motions are all uniform in direction, force, and time. Accordingly, there will be varieties also and shades of difference in the same tone, arising from the position and manner of striking the
sonorous body, from the constitution of the elastic medium, and from the state of the organ of hearing.

THE SENSE OF HE IKING.

37

bass-viol,

Different instruments, such as a flute, a violin, and a may all sound the same tone, and yet "be

distinguishable.

easily

considerable

number of human

voices

may sound the same note, and with equal stiength, and The same voice, yet there will be some difference. while it maintains the proper distinctions of sound, may yet be varied many ways by sickness or health, youth or age, and other alterations in our bodily condition to which we are incident.
25,

Marmci

in

which

we

learn the place of sounds

a fact particularly worthy of notice in respect to sounds, that we should not know, previous to all experience on the subject, whether a sound came from the right or left, from above or below, from a smaller or greater And this will appear the less surprising when distance. we remember that the undulations of air are always changed from their oiiginal direction by the channels and the windings of the ear before they strike the tympanum. Abundant facts confirm this statement. Dr. Reid mentions a that once, as he was lying in bed, having been put into a fright, he heard his own heart beat. He took it to be some one knocking at the door, and arose and opened the door oftener than once before he Some discovered that the sound was in his own breast. traveller has related that, when he first heard the roaring of a lion in a desert wilderness, not seeing the animal^
It is

he did not know on what side to apprehend danger, as the sound seemed to him to proceed from the ground, and to enclose a circle, of wilich he and his companions stood
in the centre.
It is by custom or experience that we learn to distintheir guish the place of things, and, in some measure also, It is thus that we learn nature, by means of their sound. that one noise is in a contiguous room, that another is above our heads, and another is in the street. And what seems to be an evidence of this is, that when we are in a we very frequentstrange place, after all our experience, mistaken in these respects ly find ourselves If a man born deaf were suddenly made to hear, he would probably consider his first sensations of sound as

THE SENSE OF TOUCH. But in process of within himself. originating wholly we learn not only to refer the origin of sounds to a time to the right or left \ but to conposition above or below, nect each particular sound with a particular external external cause, referring one to a bell as its appropriate to a trumpet. cause, another to a flute, another

CHAPTER
26

V.

THE SENSE OF TOUCH.


$

Of

the sense of touch in geneial and

its

sensations

The are next to consider the sense of TOUCH. of this sense is the hand, although it is not principal organ limited to that part of our frame, but is diffused over the whole body. The hand principally arrests our attention as the organ of this sense, because, being furnished with various articulations, it is easily moveable by the muscles,

WE

simple touch. By the

the various changes of readily adapt itself to to which it is applied. form in the objects The senses, which have hitherto been examined, are and uniform in their results than that of the more

and can

ear

we merely

possess that sensation

which we denominate hearing ; we have the knowledge of sounds, and that is all. By the palate we acquire a sense of smelling we knowledge of tastes, and by the The with the odours of bodies. become acquainted which is directly acquired by all these senses knowledge is limited to the qualities which have been mentioned. the sense of touch, on the contrary, we become ac-

By

with a variety of qualiquainted not with one merely, but such as the following, heat and cold, hardness and ties, or resistance, softness, roughness and smoothness, solidity and figure ; and, in particular, it gives occasion extension, of the antecedent and more general notion for the
origin

of externality.
27. Idea of externality suggested in connexion with the touch

If

man were

would be found that the

of smell alone, it possessed of the sense earliest elements of his knowl-

THE SENSE OF TOUCH.

edoe consisted exclusively in sensations of odours. Acas these sensations were agreeable or cording, however, he would acquire the additional ideas of disagreeable, And having experienced pleasure pleasure and pain. and pain, we may suppose that this would subsequently to the feelings and the abstract concepgive rise both But if he had no other tions of desire and aversion.

seem to him to be internal, sense, all these feelings would in their experience, but their origin; in other not only to be mere emanations from the soul itself; and
words,

he would be incapable of referring them to an external If he were possessed of the sense of hearing cause. his existence would alone, the result would be similar ; then seem to consist essentially of sounds, as in the othei case it would be made up of odours ; nor, indeed, by the aid of merely both these senses combined would, he be able to form an idea of externality or outwaidness. But this idea is a most impoitant one \ it is the conintroduces us to an acquaintance necting thought which with a new form of existence, different from that inteexistence which we variously call by the names This idea first arises in the mind, or soul. spirit, mind, addressed to that sense, by it is not
rior

although

directly

means of the touch. There is no question

that the other senses might of furnish a basis of considerable extent for the themselves mental action. By means of their aid alone, such a detake place, that we could of the mind

velopement

might

perceive, think, compare, abstract, reason, although, under such circumstances, everything

and

will.

And
would

seem

to us to be internal, yet we should probably find the mental action unembarrassed and easy, and a source But after a time we decide to move the of pleasure. the hand or lirnbs in a particular direction, and to press gome other part of the body through some hard and re-

It is when substance. attempt to do anything sisting this kind, which calls the sense of touch into action, of find the wonted series of thoughts disturbed, the that

we

we

It is desire checked, and the volition counteracted. at this precise position of the mind, with scarceprobably of wonder, that ly the interval of a momentary pause

16

THE SENSE OF TOUCH,

there arises vividly in the soul a new perception, a new the idea of externality or outness. thought, which we call It is the sense of touch which impinges upon the obstacle that stands in our way ; and no other sense admits It is thus the means of parof this peculiar application. the previous connexion and tendency of tially disturbing occasion for the rise of the new thought, and of giving And this idea, called idea which is under consideration.
into existence

ated with of matter.


that

we

under these circumstances, becomes associthose notions which we subsequently form It may be of some importance to add here, shall have occasion to refer to this idea again
all

It is to be remembered, that externality is not a direct object of the the tactual touch, as extension and hardness are, but that sense simply furnishes the occasion on which it is formed.

under the head of Original Suggestion.

28

Ougin

of the notion of extension, and of form or figure

The idea of EXTENSION has its origin by means of the When the touch is applied to bodies, sense of touch. where in the intermediate parts there is a continuity of It the same substance, we necessarily form that notion. that Extension, as to be is
not,

however,

imagined

it^ex-

notion in the mind, outwardly, and the corresponding So far from any imitation resemble .each other. actually and copying from one to the other, or resemblance in any As to oututter diversity. way, there is a radical and material extension, it is not necessary to attend to ward, it here ; our business at present is with the corresponding
ists

inward

feeling.
;

upon
solve

that
it

the

Nor will it be necessary to delay even more we multiply words upon it, the more

obscure
it

becomes.

As

it is

a simple idea,

we cannot reit

into others,
it.

defining
it,

We

and in that way make must refer in this case, as

clearer

by

in others like

It will be better to each one's personal experience. understood in that way than by any form of words. The notion of extension is intimately connected -with, and may be considered in some sort the foundation of, Dr. Biown somethat of the FORM or figure of bodies. where calls the Form of bodies their relation to each other

'n space.

This

is

thought to afford matter for reflection;

THE SENSE OF TOUCH.


but

41

consider that SPACE, whatever it may be obor outwardly, exists in the mind as a simple no jectively tion, and that the particular relation here spoken of is not pointed out, the remark may not be found to throw much
Still we do not suppose that any of what FORM is ; men must be supposed ignorant to know that, if they are thought to know anything. All that is meant to be asserted here is, that the idea of extension is antecedent, in the order of nature, to that of form; and that the latter could not exist without the other ; but that both, nevertheless, are simple, and both are to be ascribed to the sense of touch.

when we

light

on the subject

one

is

29

On

the sensations of heat and cold

Among the states of mind which are usually classed with the intimations of the sense under consideration, are those which are connected with changes in the temperature of our bodies. Some writers, it is true, have been inclined to dissent from this arrangement, and have hazarded an opinion that they ought not to be ascribed to the sense of TOUCH ; but Dr. Reid, on the contrary, who gave to our sensations the most careful and patient attention, has decidedly assigned to them this origin. Among other remaiks, he has expressed himself on this subject to
this effect.

" The words HEAT and COLD," he remarks, (Inquiry into " have each of them two ch. the Human

Mind,

v.,)

signi-

they sometimes signify certain sensations of the mind, which can have no existence when they are not felt, nor can exist anywhere but in the mind or sentient being ; but more frequently they signify a quality in bodies, which, by the laws of nature, occasions the sensations of heat and cold in us; a quality which, though connected by custom so closely with the sensation that we cannot without difficulty separate them, yet hath not the least resemblance to it, and may continue to exist when there is no sensation at all. " The sensations of heat and cold are perfectly known, for they neither are, nor can be, anything else than what we feel them to be ; but the qualities in bodies, which we call heat and cold, are unknown. They are only conceivfications
;

B2

42

THE SENSE OP TOUCH.

to

ed by us as unknown causes or occasions of. the sensations, which we give the same names. But though common
sense says nothing of the nature of the qualities, it plainly indicates the existence of them ; and to deny that there can be heat and cold when they are not felt, is an abFor what could to merit confutation. surdity too gross be more absurd than to say that the thermometer cannot be present, or that the coast rise or fall unless some

person of Guinea would be as cold as


inhabitants.

Nova Zembla if it had no

the business of philosophers to investigate, by what heat and cold proper experiments and induction, are in bodies. And whether they make heat a particular element diffused nature, and accumulated in the
is

" It

through heated body, or whether they make it a certain vibration of the parts of the heated body ; whether they determine that heat and cold are contrary qualities, as the sensations is a quality, undoubtedly are contrary, or that heat only these questions are within the and cold its

privation; for common sense says nothing province of philosophy ; on the one side or the other. " But, whatever be the nature of that quality in bodies which we call heat, we certainly know this, that it can-

It is not in the least resemble the sensation of heat ^no less absurd to suppose a likeness between the sensation and the quality, than it would be to suppose that the a square or a triangle. The pain of the gout resembles hath common sense does not imagine simplest man that the sensation of heat, or anything that resembles that

sensation, to
is

be in the

fire.

He

only imagines that there

something in the fire feel heat. tient


fies this

which makes him and other senYet as the name of heat, in combeings mon language, more frequently and more properly signi-

unknown something in the fire than the sensaoccasioned by it, he justly laughs at the philosopher tion who denies that there is any heat in the fire, and thinks
that

he speaks contrary to common sense."


30.

Of

the sensations of hardness and softness.

;*

"Let us next consider," continues the same writer, HARDNESS and SOFTNESS; by which ^vords we always

THB SENSE OF TOUCH.

43

understand real properties or qualities of bodies, of which have a distinct conception, " When the parts of a body adhere so firmly that it cannot easily be made to change its figure, we call t hard / when its parts are easily displaced, we call it This is the notion which all mankind have of hardsoft. ness and softness they are neither sensations nor like
"^re
:

any sensation ; they were real qualities before they were perceived by touch, and continue to be so when they are not perceived for if any man will affirm that diamonds were not hard till they were handled, who would reason with him 7 " There is, no doubt, a sensation by which we perceive This sensation of hardness may a body to be hard or soft. easily be had by piessing one's hand against a table, and
:

attending to the feeling that ensues, setting aside as much as possible all thought of the table and its qualities, or of any external thing. But it is one thing to have the sensation,

and another

to attend to

it

and make
;

it

distinct
last, in

object of reflection.

The

first

is

very easy

the

sign, to pass immediately to the hardness signified, that, as far as appears, it was never made an object of thought,

most cases, extremely difficult. " are so accustomed to use the sensation as a

We

and

either

by the vulgar

or

by philosophers; nor has

it

in any language. There is no, sensation more distinct or more frequent ; yet it is never attended to, but serves only passes through the mind instantaneously, and to introduce that quality in bodies which, by a law of our

name

constitution,

it

" There are, indeed, some cases wherein it is no difficult matter to attend to the sensation occasioned by the hardness of a body ; for instance, when it is so violent as to occasion considerable pain : then nature calls upon us to attend to it ; and then we acknowledge that it is a mere If a man sensation,, and can only be in a sentient being. runs his head with violence against a pillar, I appeal to him whether the pain he feels resembles the hardness of the stone ; or if he can conceive anything like what he feels to be in an inanimate piece of matter. "The attention of the mind is here entirely turned to-

suggests.

THE SENSK OF TOUCH.

wards the painful feeling ; language of mankind, he


feels

arid, to speak in the common feels nothing in the stone, but

when he leans his head

a violent pain in his head. It is quite otherwise then gently against the pillar ; for he will tell you that he feels nothing in his head, but feels hardness in the stone. Hath he not a sensation in this case as well as in the other ? Undoubtedly he hath ; but it is a sensation which nature intended only as a sign of something in the stone ; and, accordingly, he instantthe thing signified ; and canly fixes his attention upon attend so much to the sennot, without great difficulty, that there is any such thing sation as to be
distinct

persuaded from the hardness it


difficult
it

signifies.

"But however

may be

tive sensation, to stop its rapid progress,

to attend to this fugiand to disjoin it

from the external quality of hardness, in whose shadow is what a philosit is apt immediately to hide itself: this and practice must attain, otherwise it opher by pains will be impossible for him to reason justly upon this subFoi or even to understand what is here advanced. ject, last appeal, in subjects of this nature, must be to what the a man feels and perceives in his own mind."
$ 31

Of

certain indefinite feelings sometimes ascribed to the touch

In connexion with these views on the sensations of certain feelings have touch, it is proper to remark, that been ascribed to that sense, which are probably of a char-

and undoubted have their place in Although they clearly the general arrangement which has been laid down, with the states of mind which we are now considering ; that than of is to say, are rather of an external and material, an internal origin ; still they do not so evidently admit of an assignment to a particular sense. Those sensations to which we now refer, (if it be proper to use that^ term in to them,) appear to have their origin in the application human system considered as a whole, made up of bones, muscles, the senses, &c., rather than to be suscepacter too indefinite to admit of a positive
classification.
^

flesh,

tible

Of this deof being traced to any particular part. are the feelings expressed by the terms uneasiscription and those of an opness, weariness, weakness, sickness, as ease, hilarity,, health, vigour, &c posite character,

TkE SENSE OF TOUCH.

45

When we say that these views apply in part to hunger and thirst, the design is to limit the application of them to the element of uneasiThis elementary feeling undoubtedly has its origin ness.
to relieve that uneasiness.

Similar views will be found to apply,, in part at least, the sensations which we express by the terms HUNGER and THIRST. These appear to be complex in their nature, including a feeling of uneasiness, combined with a desire
to

will

bodily system, and therefore comes in this case under the general class of notions of an EXTERNAL origin ; but still it is not easy to say that it should be arranged with our tactual feelings, which has sometimes been done. Every one must be conscious, it is thought, that the feeling of hunger does not greatly resemble the sensations of
in the

hardness and softness, roughness or smoothness, or other which are usually ascribed to the touch. The cause of that peculiar state of the nerves of the stomach, which is antecedent to the uneasy feeling involved in what is termed hunger, has been a subject of difference of opinion, and does not appear to be well undersensations
stood.
If

we were
less at

perhaps be
question.
32

fully acquainted with this we might loss wheie to arrange the feeling in

Relation between the sensation and what

is

outwardly signified.

We here return a moment to the subject of

the relation

between the internal sensation and the outward object ; and again repeat, that the mental state and the corresponding outward object are altogether diverse. This view holds good in the case of the secondary, as well ai
of the primary qualities of matter. Whether we speak of extension, or resistance, or heat, or colour, or roughness, there are, in all cases alike, two things, the internal affection and the outward quality ; but they are utterly distinct,
totally without likeness to

each other. But

how it happens

that one thing which is totally different from another can nevertheless give us a knowledge of that from which it
differs, it

would be a waste of time to attempt to explain. Our knowledge is undoubtedly limited to the mere fact.
This is one those of difficult but decisive points in MENTAL PHILOSOPHY, of which it is essential to possess a

46
precise

THE SENSE OF SIGHT.

The letters correct understanding. cover over the page of a book are a very different thing from the thought and the combinations of thought which columns of numerals are they stand for. The accountant's
and

which

not identical with the quantities and their relations which in regard to the mind ; all its they represent. And so acts are of one kind, and what they stand for is of anis feelings and operations, and characterizes its efforts by laws, governed by the essential elements of its own nature. Nothing which is seen or heard, nothing which is the subject of taste, or touch or any other sense, nothing material, which can be can furnish imagined to exist in any place or in any form,

other.

The mind,
its

in all

its

own

the least positive disclosure either of its intrinsic nature or of the mode of its action. What, then, is the relation between the sensation and the outward object, between the perception and the thing perceived ? Evidently that of the sign and the thing sigAnd as, in a multitude of cases, the sign may nified.
other grounds give a knowledge of its objects without any of such knowledge than mere institution or appointment,
so

The mind, maintaining its appropriate it is in this. action, and utterly rejecting the intervention of all images and visible representations, except what are outward and material, and totally distinct from itself both in place and
nature,

of the knowledge is, notwithstanding, susceptible of things exterior, and can form an acquaintance with the universe of matter.

CHAPTER VL
THE SENSE OF
$ 33.

SIGHT.

Of

the organ of sight, and the uses or "benefits of that sense

those instruments of external perception with which a benevolent Providence has favoured us, a high rank must be given to the sense of seeing. If we were restricted in the process of acquiring knowledge to the informations of the touch merely, how many embarrassments

OF

THE SENSE OF SIGHT

47

would attend our progress, and how slow it would prove! Having never possessed sight, it would be many years before the most acute and active person could form an idea of a mountain or even of a large edifice. But by
the additional help of the sense of seeing, he not only observes the figure of large buildings, but is in a momenl possessed of all the beauties of a wide and variegated

The organ of this sense is the eye. On a slight examination, the eye is found to be a sort of telescope, having its distinct parts, and discovering throughout the most
exquisite construction. acts are rays of light,

advancing,
lines.

if

The medium on which this organ everywhere diffused, and always they meet with no opposition, in direct

eye, like all the other senses, not only receives the medium on which it acts, but carries the externally rays of fight into itself ; and on principles purely scientific,

The

refracts

and combines them anew.

does not, however, fall within our plan to give a minute description of the eye, which belongs rather to the physiologist ; but such a description, with the statement of the uses of the different parts of the organ, must be, to a candid and reflecting mind, a most powerful argument in proof of the existence and goodness of the Supreme
It

How wonderful, among other things, is the Being, If these rays adaptation of the rays of light to the eye were not of a texture extremely small, they would cause much pain to the organ of vision, into which they so If they were not capable of exciting rapidly pass. within us the sensations of colour, we should be deprived of much of that high satisfaction which we now take in
!

beholding surrounding objects ; showing forth, wherever they are to be found, the greatest variety and the utmost
richness of tints.

34 Statement

of the

mode

or process in visual perception.

&i the process of vision, the rays of


various objects

place on the eye.

light, coming from in various directions, strike in the first the pellucid or transparent part of the ball of

and

If they

were

to continue passing

on

precisely in the

48

THE SENSE OF SIGHT.

same direction, they would produce merely one mingled and indistinct expanse of colour. In their progress, howare refracted ever, through the crystalline humour, they or bent from their former direction, and are distributed to certain focal points on the retina, which is a white, fibrous

the last step which we are able to designate in the material part of the process in visual perception ; the mental state follows ; but it is not in our power to trace, even
is

sight.

expansion of the optic nerve. The rays of light, coming from objects in the field of or less extensive, as soon as vision, whether it be more been distributed on their distinct portions of the they have are immediately retina, and have formed an image there, followed by the sensation or perception which is termed which is thus pictured on the retina The

image

in the smallest degree,

the

mind*

All that we can say in this case is, that we supof antecedent pose them to hold to each other the relation and consequent by an ultimate law of our constitution.
35

optical

any physical connexion between image and the corresponding state of the

Of

the original

and acquired perceptions of

sight.

In speaking of those sensations and perceptions, the attributed to the sense of origin of which is generally it is necessary to make a distinction between those sight, Nowhich are ORIGINAL and those which are ACQUIRED. is properly original with the sense of sight but the thing These sensations of colour, such as red, blue, yellow. sensations (or perceptions, as they are otherwise called, when the internal feeling is combined with a reference to
respect,

In this the external cause) are exceedingly numerous. the intimations of the sense of sight stand on the same footing with those of taste and hearing ; although distinctive names, in consequence of the difficulty of ac-

and drawing the line between each, few cases. All the sensations of with the sight, and are not to be ascolour are original cribed to any other sense. A part, however, of that knowledge, which we attribute to the sight, and which has the appearance of being Some of uimediate and original in that sense, is not so.
curately separating are given only in a

THE SENSE OF SIGHT.


its

4i,

alleged perceptions are properly the results of sensacombined not only with the usual reference to an external cause, but with various other acts of the judgment. In some cases the combination of the acts of the judgment with the visual sensation is carried so far, that there is a sort of transfer to the sight of the knowledge
tions,

which has been obtained from some other source. And not unfrequently, in consequence of a long and tenacious association, we are apt to look upon the knowledge thus This will acquired as truly original in the seeing power. suffice, perhaps, as a statement of the general fact, while the brief examination of a few instances will help to the more thorough understanding of those acquired percep* tions of the sight which are here referred to. ^
36
It is

The

idea of extension not originally from sight.

that there is nothing more common than for a person to say, that he sees the length or breadth of any external object ; that he sees its extent, &c. These expressions appear to imply (and undoubtedly are so understood) that extension is a direct object of sight. There is no question that such is the common sentiment, viz.,

well

known

that the outlines and surface

which bodies permanently

expand and present

to the view, are truly seen.

An

opinion different from this might even incur the charge of great absurdity. But, properly, the notion of extension, as we have already seen, has its origin in the sense of touch. Being a simple and elementary thought, it is not susceptible of definition ; nor, when we consider extension as existing outwardly and materially, can we make it a matter of description without running into the confusion of using

synonymous words. But, whatever it is, (and certainly there can be neither ignorance nor disagreement on that of our point, however much language may fail conveying the knowledge of it is not to be ascribed originalideas,)
ly to the sight. The notion of extension
ternality.
It is
is closely connected with exnot possible to form the idea of extension from mere consciousness, or a reflection on what takes But making a muscular effort, and '"'lace within us.

50

THE SENSE OF SIGH

some resisting body, we first nave applying the touch to notion of outness ; and either from the same applicathe tion of that sense, or when we have repeated it continuwe have the additional notion ously on the same surface, If a man were of its being extended or spread out.
fixed

of smelling, tastimmoveably in one place, capable and seeing, but without tactual impressions ing, hearing, he would never possess originating from a resisting body, a knowledge of either. Having first gained that knowlthe way just mentioned, he learns edge from the touch in in time what appearance extended bodies (which are, of

At a very to the eye. course, coloured bodies) make ascertained that all coloured bodies early period, having are spread out or extended, he invariably associates the idea of extension with that coloured appearance. Hence
he virtually and practically transfers the knowledge obtained by one sense to another ; and even after a time of sight, when, imagines extension to be a direct object m fact, what is seen is only a sign of it, and merely suggests
it.

An

affection of the sense of touch is the true

and original occasion of the origin of this notion ; and it becomes an idea of sight only by acquisition or transferfiguie of bodies

ence.
$

37

Of

the

knowledge of the

by the sight

Views similar to those which have been already advanced will evidently apply to the figure of bodies. the figure or form of bodies acquire a knowledge of But it cannot be doubtthe sense of touch. originally by

We

ed that this knowledge is often confidently attributed to the sense of sight as well as the touch. Although there reason to believe that men labour under a mistake in is when we trace back our mental this, it is not strange, to its earlier periods, that such a misapprehension
history

should exist.
to the eye nothing but a certain of colours and light may imagine ourdisposition selves to see the prominences or cavities in such bodies, when in truth we only see the light or the shade occasioned by them. This light and shade, however, we

A solid body presents

We

learn

by experience to consider

as the sign of

a certain

THE SENSE OF ?;GHT.


solid figure. that a painter, light and work very

51
is,

the distribution of by carefully imitating shade which he sees in objects, will make his

A proof

of the truth of this statement

not only the naturally and exactly represent, of a body, but its prominences, depresgeneral outline And yet' his delineation, sions, and other irregularities. the distribution of light and shade, gives such which, by various representations, is on a smooth and plain surface.
38
Illustration of the subject

from the blind.

Mr. It was a problem submitted by Mr. Molyneux to^ learned the differLocke, whether a blind man, who has ence between a cube and a sphere by the touch, can, on to sight, distinguish between being suddenly restored and tell which is the sphere and which is the cube, them, his new sense merely 1 by the aid of what may be called And the answer of Mr. Locke was, in agreement with the

man knows what

The blind that he cannot. make impressions the cube and sphere of touch, and by that sense is able to dison the organ them ; but, as he is ignorant what im tinguish between will make on the organ of sight, he is not pression they to tell which is the round able, by the latter sense alone, and which is the cubic. body It was remarked that solid bodies present to the eye of light and colours. It nothing but a certain disposition seems to follow from this, that the first idea which will be will be that of conveyed to the mind on seeing a globe, a circle variously shadowed with different degrees of This imperfect idea is corrected in this way. light. of the sense of touch with Combining the suggestions those of sight, we learn by greater experience what kind of appearance solid, convex bodies will make to us. That the sign of the presence appeal ance becomes to the mind of a globe ; so that we have an idea of a round body by a very rapid mental correction, whereas the notion first conveyed to the mind is truly that of a plane, circular surface, on which there is a variety in the dispositions of and shade. It is an evidence of the correctness of
opinion of

Molyneux himself,

light

this statement, that in paintings,

plane surfaces, variously shaded, represent convex bodies, and with great truth and exactness

VZ
It

THE SENoE OF

SIGHT.

and figure are originally appeal 3, then, that extension do not judge not by sight, but by touch. perceived, of them by sight until we have learned by our expeii

We

ence that certain visible appearances always accompany and signify the existence of extension and of figure. This

knowledge we acquire

much

so, that
its

we

at a very early period in life \ so in a great measure, the memory lose,

both of

commencement and

progress.

$ 39.

Measurements of magnitude by tne eve

Although

has been said naturally leads us to the considThis is a general ^term for Extenwhen we conceive of it not only as limited or boundsion, other objects. ed, but as related to, and compared with, we make use of the eye in judging of it, it is tc

What

eration of MAGNITUDE.

be kept in mind that the knowledge of magnitude is^not an original intimation of the sight, but is at first acquired is this, that it has by the aid of touch. So well known been common to consider Magnitude under the two heads
of tangible or real, and visible or apparent
;

the tangible

but the visible varying magnitude being always the same, with the distance of the object. A man of six feet stature is always that height, whether he be a mile distant, or half a mile, or near at hand ; the change of place making no change in his real or tangible magnitude. But the visible or apparent magnitude of this man may be six feet or two feet, as we view him present with us and immedior at ately in our neighbourhood,
his

two

miles' distance

for

magnitude appears to our eye greater or less, accordremoved. ing as he is more or less In support of the doctrine that the knowledge of magnitude is not an original intimation of the sight, but is at
first

acquired by the aid of touch, we may remark, that, judging of magnitude by the sight, we are much influenced, not merely by the visual perception, but particuother objects, the size of which larly by comparison with " I remember is known or supposed to be known. once," sect, i.), says Dr. Abercrombie (Intellectual Powers, pt. ii.,
in

"

having occasion to pass along Ludgate Hill when the great door of St. Paul's was open, and several persons

were standing in

it.

They appeared

to

be very

little

THE SENSE OF SIGHT


children
;

53

on coming up to them, were found to be In the mental process which here full-grown persons. the door had been assumed as a known magtook place, of by it Had I atnitude, and the other objects judged the door being much larger than any door that tended to one is in the habit of seeing, the mind would have made allowance for the apparent size of the persons ; and, on the other hand, had these been known to be full-grown would have been formed of the size persons, a judgment
but,

of the door."
40.

Of

in a mist. objects seen

In accordance with the above-mentioned principle, it in a mist seem happens that objects seen by a person than life. Their faint appearance rapidly conveys larger to the mind the idea of being considerably removed, ^alAnd the mind imto us. though they are actually near as to seem a mediately draws the conclusion, (so rapidly and original perception,) that the object having simple the same visible or apparent magnitude, and yet supposed to be at a considerable distance, is greater than other obSo that it is chiefly the view of of the same class.
jects

the rnind, a law or habit of the intellect, which, in this a fictitious expansion to bodies ; particular case, gives that the result may in part be atit is possible although tributed to a difference in the refraction of the rays of their passing through a denser and less light, caused by
_

uniform medium than usual.


<

41

Of the sun and moon when seen

in the horizon.

These remarks naturally remind us of the well-known seem larger in the horizon fact, that the sun and moon than in the meridian. Three reasons may be given for this are combined appearance ; and perhaps ordinarily they The horizon may seem more distant than
(1.) together. the zenith, in consequence of intervening objects. measure the distance of objects in part by means of those

We

that are scattered along between, and any expanse of no such intervening objects, apsurface, where there are Now if the to us 'of less extent than it actually is. pears of light form precisely the same image in the eye, rays

54

THE SENSE OF

SIGHT.

the but the source of them is supposed to be further off in horizon than in the zenith, such have been our mental will probably appear habits, that the object in the horizon Another reason of the enlarged apthe largest (2.) and moon in the horizon is, that the pearance of the sun from them fall on the body of the atmosphere obrays are reflected downward towards liquely, and, of course, the beholder, and subtend a larger angle at his eye. direction of the Hence, as we always see objects in the the eye, if we follow the rays ray just before it enters back in the precise direction of theii approach, they will outlines of a larger object as their present to the eye the source than they would if they had not been refracted when the atmosphere is not clear, but masses of yaAlso, the refraction is increased and the object exist in
-

pour

it,

ap(3.) proportionally enlarged. of considerable dimenpear enlarged when other objects to subtend a very small angle at sions, but so distant as are seen in the same direction or in the moment the eye, of passing their disk, such as distant trees in the horiThese objects, though small zon, or ships far off at sea. in the eye or in their visual appearance, are yet, in conin our sequence of our previous knowledge, enlarged And this conceptive enlargement conceptions of them. a sort of mental illusion, to othcommunicates
itself,

The sun and moon

er objects with
$

by which they seem


Of

to

come

in contact

42

the estimation of distances

by sight

We
made

are next led to the consideration of distances as the disthe sight. known and ascertained

by

By

tance of objects,

when we use the term in reference to we mean the space which is interposed between ourselves, It might be objectthose objects and our own position.
of what is meant. Even blind supposed to be ignorant men have a notion of distance, and can measure it by the meet the distant touch, or by walking forward until they
object.
is only a synonymous expression ed, that space interposed Nevertheless, no one can be for the thing to be defined.

and not an

the sight is an acquired perception of distance by ; although the latter was original perception until comparatively a universally supposed to be the fact recent period.

The

THE SENSE OF

SIGHT.

55

All objects in the first instance appear to touch the has corrected so many of the eye ; but our experience of the senses, before the period which we representations are jet able to retrace by the memory, that we cannot to our own childhood and infanprove this by a reference It appears, however, from the statement of the cacy. ses of persons born blind on the sudden restoration of
their sight.

When he first saw," says Cheselden, the anatomist, when giving an account of a young man whom " he had restored to sight by couching for the cataract, he about distance, was so far from making any judgment that he thought all objects touched his eye, as he expressed it, as what he felt did his skin ; and thought no oblar,

"

were smooth and reguagreeable as those which he could form no judgment of their shape, although or guess what it was in any object that was pleasing to him." Tliis anatomist has further informed us, that he has others who had no remembrance brought to sight several of ever having seen ; and that they all gave the same account of their learning to see, as they called it, as the not in so many young man already mentioned, although and that they all had this in common, that, particulars ; to move their eyes, they kne^ having never had occasion not how to do it, and, at first, could not at all direct them in time they acquired that facto a object ; but
jects so

particular

ulty,

though by slow degrees.


43 Signs by means
of which

we

estimate distance by sight

Blind persons, when at first restored to sight, are unable to estimate the distance of objects by that sense, but soon observing that certain changes in the visible appear-

ance of bodies always accompany a change of distance, of estimating distance by the visthey fall upon a method And it would no doubt be found, if it ible appearance. could be particularly examined into, that all mankind
to possess the power of estimating the distances of When a body is rein the same way. object? by sight moved from us and placed at a considerable distance, it its colours are becomes smaller in its visible

come

appearance,
;

less lively,

and

its

outlines less distinct

and we may ex-

0(5

THE SENSE OF SIGHT.

pect to find various intermediate objects, more or fewer in number, corresponding with the increase of the distance, showing themselves between the receding object and the spectator. And hence it is, that a certain visible appearance comes to be the sign of a certain distance. Historical and landscape painters are enabled to turn these facts to great account in their delineations. By means of dimness of colour, indistinctness of outline, and the partial interposition of other objects, they are enabled apparently to throw back to a very considerable distance from the eye those objects which they wish to appear reWhile other objects, that are intended to appear mote.
near, are painted vivid in colour, large in size, distinct in outline, and are separated from the eye of the spectator

by few or no intermediate
$

objects.
objects.

44 Estimation of distance when unaided by intermediate

in no small degree, upon interme(1.) diate objects in forming our notions of distance, it results, that we are often much perplexed by the absence of such
objects.

As we depend,

Accordingly, we find that people

fi

equently mis-

take, when they attempt to estimate by the eye the length or width of unoccupied plains and marshes, generally
less than it really is. For the same reason they misjudge of the width of a river, estimating its width at half or three quarters of a mile at the most, when it is perhaps not less than double that distance. The same holds true of other bodies of water ; and of all other things which are seen by us in a horizontal position and under similar circumstances. mistake in the same way also in estimating (2.) the height of steeples, and of other bodies that are perpendicular, and not on a level with the eye, provided As the upper parts of the the height be considerable. the surrounding buildings, and there are steeple out-top

making the extent

We

no contiguous objects with which to compare it, any measurement taken by the eye must be inaccurate, but
is

by the eye, all appear to be alike indefinitely and equally distant Being scattered over the whole sky, they make every part of it

generally less than the truth. (3) The fixed stars, when viewed

THE SENSE OF SIGHT

57

seem, like themselves, at an indefinite and equal distance, and therefore contribute to give the whole sky the apof a sphere. Moreover, the horipearance of the inside zon seems to the eye to be further off than the zenith ; because between us and the former there lie many things,
as fields, hills,
;

great space are no considerable things of known dimensions. And, therefore, the heavens appear like the segment of a than a hemisphere, in the centre of sphere, and less which we seem to stand. And the wider our prospect to be, and the less is ? the greater will the sphere appear the segment.
43

and waters, which we know to occupy a whereas between us and the zenith there

Of

objects seen

on the ocean, &c.

by a person who is not accustomed to the ocean, appears much nearer than it actually is ; and on the same principles as already illustrated. In his the objects at a distance, he has previous observations of noticed a number of intermediate objects, incommonly
seen at sea

A vessel

and himself. It is probterposed between the distant body the absence of such objects that chiefly causes the ably deception under which he labours in the present instance. In connexion with what has been said, we are led to make this further remark, that a change in the purity of the air will perplex in some measure those ideas of distance which we receive from sight. Bishop Berkeley rewhile travelling in Italy and Sicily, he noticed marks, that cities and palaces seen at a great distance appeared nearer to him by several miles than they actually were. The cause of this he very correctly supposed to be the which gave to obpurity of the Italian and Sicilian air, of brightness and distinctjects at a distance a degree ness which, in the less clear and pure atmosphere of his native country, could be observed only in those towns and

At home he had separate edifices which were near. learned to estimate the distances of objects by their appearance ; but his conclusions failed him when they came to be applied to objects in countries where the air
was
so

much

clearer.

ticed

by other

travellers,

And the same thing has been who have been placed in

no
the

like circumstances

58

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

CHAPTER

VIL

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.


46. General \ lew of the law of habit and of
its

applications

THERE is an important law of the mental constitution known as the law of Habit, which may be described in
That the mental action acquires general terms as follows The or practice. facility and strength from repetition fact that the facility and the increase of strength, implied
:

we learn, as we do other facts quently termed practice, and principles in relation to the mind, from the observation of men around us, and from our own personal expeAnd as it has hitherto been found impracticable rience.
any general fact or principle more elementary, it may justly be regarded as something ultimate and essential in our nature. The term Habit, by the use of language, indicates the in the way which has been facility and strength acquired mentioned, including both the result and the manner of it. As the law of habit has reference to the whole mind of man, the application of the term which expresses it is, of course, very extensive. apply it to the dexterity of workmen in the different manual arts, to the rapidity of the accountant, to the coup d'ceil or eye-glance of the the tact and fluency of the extempomilitary engineer, to
to resolve it into

in HABIT, is

owing

to

mere

repetition, or

what

is

more

fre-

We

raneous speaker, and in other like instances. apply it also in cases where the mere exercise of emotion and desire is concerned ; to the avaricious man's lov^e of wealth, the ambitious man's passion for distinction, the wakeful suspicions of the jealous, and the confirmed and substantial benevolence of the philanthropist.
$

We

47 The law of

habit applicable to the

mind

as well as the body.

It is remarkable, that the law under consideration holds good in respect to the body as well as the mind. In the mechanical arts, and in all cases where there is a corpo-

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PEECEPTION.

59

of practice will real as well as mental eifort, the effect be found to extend to both. Not only the acts of the mind are quickened and strengthened, but all those muscles which are at such times employed, become stronger and more obedient to the will. Indeed, the submission of the muscular effoit to the volition is oftentimes rendered so prompt by habit, that we are unable distinctly to
recollect any exercise of volition previous to the active It is habit which is the basis or muscular exertion.

of those characteristic peculiarities that distinguish one man's handwriting from another's; it is habit which causes that peculiarity of attitude and motion ^so easily
^ ^

discoverable in most persons, termed their gait 5 it is^habit also which has impressed on the muscles, immediately of speech, that fixed and preconnected with the
cise

organs form of action, which, in different individuals, gives The at least, to characteristics of voice. rise, in part in the cases just mentioned, is both bodily and menhabit,
tal,

and has become


it

to counteract

for

any length

so strong, that it is hardly possible of time. The great law

of Habit

the leading divisions of our applicable to all the Intellect, the Sensibilities, and the mental nature, Will j and as we advance from one view of the mind^to occasion to notice its inanother, we shall have repeated In the remainder of this chapter we shall limit fluence. our remarks to Habit, considered in connexion with the
is

Sensations and Perceptions.


48.

Of

habit in relation to the smell.

shall consider the application of the principle of Habit to the senses in the same order which has already been observed. In the first place, there are habits of Smell This sense, like the others, is susceptible of culAs there are some persons whose power of tivation. the difference of two or more colours is

We

ed in like manner in the discrimination of odours. And the as the inability may be overcome in some measure in The fact that so it may be in the latter. former case,
^

distinguishing teeble ; so there are

some who are doubtful and perplex-

the

capable powers of which out and quickened, is owing frequently brought


the smell
is

are not

more

to the

60

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION

It somecircumstance that it is not ordinarily needed. times happens, however, that men are compelled to make an uncommon use of it, when, by a defect in the other senses, they are left without the ordinary helps to knowlIt is then we see the effects of the law of Habit. edge. It is stated in Mr. Stewart's account of James Mitchells who was deaf, sightless, and speechless, and, of course, to make itrongly induced by his unfortunate situation uuch use of the sense we are considering, that his smell would immediately and ii.variably inform him of the presence of a stranger, and direct to the place where he might be ; and it is repeatedly asserted, that this sense

had become

in

" of the late Dr. Moyse, the wellsays Dr. Abercrombie, known blind philosopher, that he could distinguish a black dress on his friends by its smell." In an interesting account of a deaf, dumb, and blind in the Hartford Asylum, recently published, stategirl ments are made on this subject of a similar purport. " of " It has been observed," says the writer, persons
are deprived of a particular sense, that additional quickness or vigour seems to be bestowed on those which Thus blind persons are often distinguished by remain. peculiar exquisiteness of touch \ and the deaf and dumb, who gain all their knowledge through the eye, concentrate, as it were, their whole souls in that channel of ob-

him extremely

acute.

"

It is

related,"

who

With her whose eye, ear, and tongue are alike dead, the capabilities both of touch and smell are exceedingly heightened. Especially the latter seems alservation.
to have acquired the pioperties of a new sense, and to transcend the sagacity even of a spaniel." Such is the influence of habit on the intimations of the sense

most

under consideration.
49.

Of

habit in relation to the taste

The same law

is

applicable to the Taste.

We see the
<

results of the frequent exercise of this sense in the quickness which the dealer in wines discovers in distinguish-

So ing the flavour of one wine from that of another. marked are the results in cases of this land, that one is almost disposed to credit the story which Cervantes ce*

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

61

iates of two persons, who were requested to pass thenwhich was supposed to be judgment upon a hogshead One of them tasted the wine, old and excellent. very and pronounced it to be very good, with the exception of The a slight taste of leather which he perceived in it. and examination, pronounother., after mature reflection ced the same favourable verdict, with the exception of a On taste of iron, which he could easily distinguish. there was found at the bottom an the

emptying

hogshead,

old key with a leathern thong tied to it. Another practical view of this subject, however, preThe sensations which we experience sents itself here.
,

in this

and other

like cases, not only acquire

by

repeti-

tion greater niceness

and

discrimination, but increased

the increased strength is in all instrength ; (and perhaps stances the foundation of the greater power of discrimination.)

On

this topic

we have

a wide and melancholy

The bibber of wine and the drinksource of illustration. er of ardent spirits readily acknowledge, that the sensation

was

at

first

only moderately pleasing, and perhaps

in the very slightest degree. Every time they carried the to their lips, the sensation grew more intoxicating potion desire for it waxed stronger. Perhaps pleasing, and the were not aware that this process was going on in

law of humanity ; "but they do not pretend to deny the fact. They might, indeed, have suspected at an early period that chains were gathering around them, whatever might be the cause ; but what objection had they to be bound with links of flowers; delightful while they lasted, and easily broken when necessary! But here was the mistake. Link was added to link; chain was woven with chain, till he who boasted of his sensible of his weakness, and strength was at last made a captive, a deformed, altered, found himself a
virtue of a great

they

prisoner,

and degraded slave. There is a threefold operation. The sensation of taste of pleasantness ; the feeling acquires an enhanced degree

when
ing,

of uneasiness is increased in a corresponding measure the sensation is not indulged by drinking ; and the on the uneasy feeldesire, which is necessarily attendant

becomes

in like

manner more and more imperative

62

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

To

alleviate the

measy

sire,

a shaking hand pours down the delicious poison. What then ? He has added a new link to his chain ; at every
repetition
first
till that, which at it grows heavier and heavier, he bore Hghtly and cheerfully, now presses him like a coat of iron, and galls like fetters of steel. There is a of his nature bearing him down to great and fearful law
^

the unhappy

man

defeeling and this importunate and with goes again to his cups,

destruction.

weight and accelerating his ening the probability of escape, We do not fearful, and interminable sinking. gloomy, mean to say that he is the subject of an implacable desBut it would seem that himself. tiny, and cannot help he can help himself only in this way; by a prompt, abof the practice in all its solute, and entire suspension But^few, forms, which has led him into this extremity. multitude however, have the resolution to do this the and feeble efforts, -and resign themmake a few
;

to

of a new Every indulgence is the addition what was before placed upon him., thus less-

unwilling selves to the horrois of their


50.

fate.

Of

habit in relation to the hearing.

There is undoubtedly a natural difference in the quickThis sense is more ness and discrimination of hearing. acute in some than in others but in those who possess
;

it is susceptible of a high Musicians are a proof of this, whose sensibility to the melody and concord of sweet sounds continually increases with the practice of their art The increase of sensibility in the perceptions of hearit

in

much

natural excellence,

degree of cultivation.

marked evident, ing is especially And this is causes have operated to secure such practice. The readers of Sir the state of things with the Blind. Walter Scott may not have forgotten the blind fiddler, who figures so conspicuously with verse and harp in Red Gauntlet ; a character sufficiently extraordinary, but by no means an improbable exaggeration. The blind necesmuch more than others on the sense of hearsarily rely By constant practice they increase the accuracy ing. and power of its perceptions. Shut out from the beauties (hat are seen, they please themselves with what is

and

when uncommon

HABITS OF SENSATIOIS AND PERCEPTION.


heard, and greedily drink in the melodies of song. a them not is made

63

Ac-

solace, only by cordingly, music but a business and a means of support ; and in the Institutions for the Blind this is considered an important

and well authen particular instances on record, confirm the general statement, that the ear may ticated, be trained to habits, and that thus the sensations of sound

department of instruction.

Many

may come

to us

with

new power and meaning.


man*of Puiseaux

It is re-

produced " Dr. Rush," as the statement is given in Abercrombie's Intellectual Powers, "relates of two blind young men, brothers, of the city of Philadelphia, that they knew when they approached a post in walking across a street their feet by a peculiar sound which the ground under emitted in the neighbourhood of the post ; and that they could tell the names of a number of tame pigeons, with
another.

in Fiance, that he could determine the quantity of fluid in vessels by while running from one vessel into the sound it

lated of a celebrated blind

which they amused themselves in a little garden, by only Dr. Saunderson, their heads." hearing them fly over who became blind so early as not to rememuer having as a room, piseen, when happening in any new place, and the like, gave it a character by azza, pavement, court, means of the sound and echo from his feet ; and in that was able to identify pretty exactly the place, and

way

First

writer in the assure himself of his position afterward. Volume of the Manchester Philosophical Memoirs, who is our authority also for the statement just made, as follows : "1 of a certain blind man in that

speaks

city

had an opportunity of repeatedly observing the peculiar manner m which he arranged his ideas and acquired his Whenever he w as introduced into compainformation. he continued some time silent. The ny, I remarked that sound directed him to judge of the dimensions of the room, and the different voices of the number of persons His distinction in these respects was that were present. his memory so retentive that he was very accurate, and seldom mistaken. I have known him instantly recognise a person on first hearing him, though more than two years had elapsed since the time of their last meeting. He
r

64

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION*

determined pretty nearly the stature of those he was conand he versing with by the direction of their voices;

made

dispositions

tolerable conjectures respecting their tempers and the manner in which they conducted their

conversation

by "

4 51

Application of habit to the touch.

sense of touch, like the others, may be exceedingly to call it improved by habit The more we are obliged into use, the more attention we pay to its intimations. By the frequent repetition, therefore, under such circumstaninci eased intenseces, these sensations not only acquire ness in themselves, but particularly so in reference to our But it is desirable to notice and remembrance of them. as it is all other principles from time to time confirm

The

this,

laid

down, by an appeal

to facts,

and by

careful induc-

from them. Diderot relates of the blind man of Puiseaux, mention ed in a former section, that he was capable of judging of his distance from the fireplace by the degree of heat, and
tions

of his approach to any solid bodies by the action or pulse The same thing is recorded of of the air upon his face.

many

other persons in a similar situation ; and it may be well established, that blind people regarded as a point who are unable to see the large and heavy bodies prein their way as they walk about, gensenting themselves their approach to them by the increased erally estimate blind person, owing to resistance of the atmosphere. the increased accuracy of his remaining senses, especiall} of the touch, would be better trusted to go through the various apartments of a house in the darkness of midnight, than one possessed of the sense of seeing without any ar-

tificial

him. light to guide In the celebrated Dr. Saunderson, who lost his sight in blind through life, alvery early youth, and remained he occupied the professorship of mathematics in though the English University of Cambridge, the touch acquired such acuteness that he could distinguish, by merely letting

them pass through his fingers, spurious coins, which were so well executed as to deceive even skilful judges

who could
*

see.*
Society, vol
i ,

Memoirs of the Manchester Philosophical

p 164

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PEKCEPTION,

65

The case of a Mi. John Metcalf, otherwise called Blind Jack, which is particularly dwelt upon by the author of the Article in the Memoirs just referred to, is a sti
one.

The

iking

writer states that

he became blind

at

an early

period ; but, notwithstanding, followed the profession of a wagoner, and occasionally of a guide in intricate roads during the night, or when the tracks were covered with snow. At length he became a projector and surveyor of

highways in difficult and mountainous districts j an employment for which one would naturally suppose a blind man to be but indifferently qualified. But he was found to answer all the expectations of his employers, and most
of the roads over the

Peak

in Derbyshire, in

England,

Says the person who this account <?f Blind Jack, " I have several times gives met this man, with the assistance of a long staff, traversing the roads, ascending precipices, exploring valleys, and

were altered by

his directions.

investigating their several extents, forms, and situations, so as to answer his designs in the best manner." In the interesting Schools for the Blind which have recently been established in various parts of the world,

the pupils read by means of the fingers. They very soon learn by the touch to distinguish one letter from another, which are made separately for that purpose of wood, The printed sheets metals, or other hard materials. which they use are conformed to their method of study'ing them.
rily

The types are much larger than those ordinaused in printing ; the paper is very thick, and being put upon the types while wet, and powerfully pressed, the letters on it are consequently raised, and appear in The pupils having before learned to distinguish relief.
from another, and also to combine them into and words, are able after a time to pass their of these printed fingers along the words and sentences sheets, and ascertain their meaning, with a good degree

one

letter

syllables

of rapidity.
52
Other striking instances of habits of touch

The power of the touch will increase in proportion to The more frequent the the necessity of a reliance on it. resort to it, the stronger will be the habit; but the neces-

F2

66
sity

IttBITS

OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION,

deprived person peculiarly great where It is noticed of James Mitchell, whose case other senses has been already referred to, that he distinguished such to himself from the property of others articles as

of Jus frequent reference to it will be found to be of two of his is a

belonged

form and materials with those of others, it would seem that he was not at a loss in identifying what was his own. It will be recollected that he could neither see nor hear,

by

this sense.

Although the

articles

were of the same

And what is

who frequently visited him. quaintance with the strangers remarkable, he actually explored particularly rourfd his father's resiby it, at an early period, a space
dence of about two hundred yards in extent, to any part which he was in the practice of walking fearlessly and without a guide, whenever he pleased. It is related of the deaf and blind girl in the Hartford
a
article
^

and was, of course, speechless. He was obliged, thereon the touch. This sense was the fore, to depend chiefly instrument he made use of in forming an acprincipal

of

Asylum, that it is impossible to displace single drawers without her perceiving and knowing it ; and that, when the baskets of linen are weekly brought ftpm the laundress, she selects her own garments without be dispersed among hesitation, however widely they may the mass. This is probably owing, at least in great part, to habits of touch, by means of which the sense is rendered exceedingly acute. Diderot has even gone^so far as that persons deprived of both sight and to
in her

conjecture

of touch as to hearing would so increase the sensibility locate the seat of the soul in the tips of the fingers.
53
Habits considered in relation to the sight

The law of habit affects the sight also. By a course The of training this sense seems to acquire new power. and acuteness of vision in the mariner who has length been frequently referred to % long traversed the ocean has writer in the North American Review (July, 1833) he once " knew a man, in the Greek island of Hy-

says, dra, who

was accustomed to take his post every day for of the island, and look out for years on the summit thirty the approach of vessels ; and although there were over

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.


three

67

the

name

hundred sail belonging to the island, he would tell of each one as she approached with ^unerring

while she was still at such a distance as to precommon eve only a confused white blur upon the clear horizon." There are numerous instances to the same effect, occasioned by the situations in which men
certainty, sent to a

are placed,
sight.

and the

The

He has is, beyond doubt, in most cases merely a habit. so often fixed his eye upon those features in a country which have a relation to his peculiar calling, that he instantly detects the bearing of
treat,

calls for the frequent exercise of the almost intuitive vision of the skilful engineer

ceptibility of defence, its facilities of

a military position, its susapproach and re-

&c.

is born without the sense of touch, but many are born without the sense of hearing and, wherever this is the case, we are entitled to look for habits of sight
;

No man

Persons under such circumstances naturally and necessarily rely much on the visual sense, whatever aids may he had by them from the touch. Hence habits ; and these imply increased quickness and power, wherever they exIt is a matter of common remark, that the keenness ist. of visual observation in the DEAF and DUMB is strikingly increased by their peculiar circumstances. Shut out from the intercourse of speech, they read the minds of men in their movements, gestures, and countenances. They notice with astonishing quickness, and appartntly without any effort, a thousand things which escape the regards of This fact is undoubtedly the foundation of the others. chief encouragement which men have to attempt the instruction of that numerous and unfortunate class of their fellow-beings. They can form an opinion of what another says to them by the motion of the lips and sometimes even with a great degree of accuracy. That this last, however, is common, it is not necessary to assert; that it is possible, we have the testimony of well-authenticated In one of his letters, Bishop Burnet mentions to facts. " At this effect the case of a young lady at Geneva. two years old," he says, " it was perceived that she had lost her hearing, and ever since, though she hears great noises, yet hears nothing of what is said to her ; but, by
;

68

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

of others,, observing the motion of the lips and mouths she acquired so many words, that out of these she has formed a sort of jargon in which she can hold conversation whole days with those who can speak her language. She knows nothing of what is said to her, unless she sees the motion of their lips that speak to her ; one thing will She appear the strangest part of the whole narrative. has a sister with whom she has practised her language more than with anybody else, and in the night, by laying her hand on her sister's mouth, she can perceive by that what she says, and so can discourse with her in the dark."

(London Quarterly Review, vol. xxiv, p. 399.) Such are the views which have been opened to us in in connexion with the senconsidering the law of HABIT ses ; and we may venture to say with confidence, that There are two notice. they are exceedingly worthy of which they are especially fitted to call up. suggestions

They

evince the striking powers of the

human mind,

its

irrepressible energies, They evince also the


in the

which no

obstacles can bear

down.

benevolence of our Creator, who hour of misery new sources of comfort, and opens the compensates for what we have not, by increasing and value of what we have. power
54. Sensations

may possess

a relative, as well as positive increase of

power

There remains a remark of some importance to be made in connexion with the general principle which has been measure auxiliary to it; brought forward, and as in some it will help to explain the more striking instances of for

any should imagine that the fact of mere repeOur sensanot sufficient to account for them. tions and perceptions may acquire not only a direct and but a relative and virtual increase of power.
habits, if
tition is

positive,

shall hereafter see This remark is thus explained. the truth of an important principle to this effect, that there will be a weakness of remembrance in any particular case hunin proportion to the want of interest in it. dreds and thousands of our sensations and perceptions are not remembered, because we take no interest in them. Of

We

Now

course they are the same, relatively to our

amount of

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

69

knowledge and our practice, as if they had never existed But when we are placed in some novel situation, at all. or when, in particular, we are deprived of any one of the
senses, the pressure of our necessities creates that interest

which was wanting before. Then we delay upon, and mark, and remember, and interpret a multitude of evanescent intimations which were formerly neglected. The
senses thus acquire a very considerable relative power and value. And in order to make out a satisfactory ex-

planation of some instances of habits, it is perhaps necesto the disary that this relative increase should be added rect and positive augmentation of vigour and quickness resulting from mere repetition or exercise.
55

Of

habits as modified by particular callings and arts

its

has been our chief object to examine habin their relation to the senses separately ; it is proper also to take a general view of them, as formed and modHitherto
it

ified

by the

particular callings

and employments of men.

Habits of perception are frequently formed under such circumstances, where all the senses are not only possessed, but where they exist with their ordinary aptitudes and powers. In consequence of the habits which he has been called upon to form by his particular situation, a farmer of a tolerable degree of experience and discernment rein order to give an opinion quires but a slight inspection, on the qualities of a piece of land, and its suitableness for skilful printer will at once notice everya settlement. in the mechanical thing of excellence or of deficiency execution of a printed work. The same results are found

hi all

er at

who practise the fine arts. An experienced paintonce detects a mannerism in colouring, combinations

and contrasts of light and shade, and peculiarities of form, which infallibly escape a person proportion, or position,
of more limited experience. Dr. Reid speaks on this subject in the following char" Not acteristic manner. only men, but children, idiots, and brutes, acquire b} habit many perceptions which they Almost every employment in life had not originally. hath perceptions of this kind that are peculiar to it. The of his flock,, as we do our shepherd knows every sheep

70

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.


k,

out of another flock one acquaintance, and can pick them The butcher knows by sight the weight and and sheep before they are killed quality of his beeves The farmer perceives by his eye very nearly the quantity of hay in a rick, or of com in a heap. The sailor sees the burden, the built, and the distance of a ship at sea, while she is a great way off. Every man accustomed to

by one.

handwriting, writing, distinguishes acquaintances by And the painter distinguishes, as he does by their faces. in the works of his art, the style of all the great masters. diffeient in differis In a

their

very word, acquired perception ent persons, according to the diversity of objects about which they are employed, and the application they bestow
in observing
$

them."*
of habit considered in reference to the perception of tne outlines and forms of objects

56.

The law

the subject of Habit, considered as inleaving Sensation and Perception, there is one other fluencing which seems to be entitled to a brief notice ; we

Before

topic

manner in which we perceive the outlines and In discussing the subject of Attention, forms of bodies. Mr. Stewart, in connexion with his views on that subject, He makes introduces some remarks in respect to vision. this supposition, That the eye is fixed in^ a particular poof an object is painted on the retsition, and the picture He then starts this inquiry ^Does the mind perina. ceive the complete figure of the object at once, or is this of the various perceptions we have perception the result He holds the of the different points in the outline ? the perception is the result of our percepopinion, that tions of the different points in the outline, which he adopts as naturally consequent on such views, as the following The outline of every body is made up of points or smallest visible portions ; no two of these points can be in
refer to the
:

same direction ; therefore every point by itprecisely the self constitutes just as distinct an object of attention to the mind, as if it were separated by some interval of empty The conclusion therespace from all the other points. of parts, and as the peris made as fore
is,

every body

* Reid's Inquiry into the

up Human

Mind, chap

vi

$ 20.

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION.

71

ception of the figure of the whole object implies a knowledge of the relative situation of the different parts with respect to each other, that such perception is the result

of a number of different acts of attention. But if we adopt this view of Mr. Stewart,, it is incumbent upon us to show how it happens that we appear to see the object at once. The various facts which have

been brought forward in this chapter appear to furnish us with a solution of this question. The answer is, that the acts of perception are performed with such rapidity, that the effect with respect to us is the same as if it were instantaneous. habit has been formed ; the glance of the mind, in the highest exercise of that habit, is inde-

scribably quick ; time is virtually annihilated ; and separate moments are to our apprehension of them crowded
into one.

<$>

57 Notice of some

facts

which favour the above doctrine

Some persons will probably entertain doubts of Mr. Stewart's explanation of the manner in which we perceive the outlines of objects ; but there are various circumstances which tend to confirm it. When we look for
which is diversified with gaudy time on any object mind is evidently perplexed with the variety of perceptions which arise ; the view is indistinct, which would not be the case if there were only one, and that an
the
first

colours, the

immediate perception. And even in paintings, which are of a more laudable execution, the effects at the first perception will be similar. But there is another fact which comes still more difind that we do not have rectly to the present point. as distinct an idea, at the first glance, of a figure of a hundred sides, as we do of a triangle or square. But we were evidently should, if the perception of visible figure the immediate consequence of the picture on the retina, and not the combined result of the separate perceptions of the points in the outline. Whenever the figure is very

We

of the mind is so very rapid that the simple, the process But when the seems to be instantaneous. perception sides are multiplied beyond a certain number, the interval of time necessary for these different acts of attention

72
becomes

HABITS OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION


perceptible.

that the

are then distinctly conscious labours from one part of the object to anwe grasp it as a other, and that some time elapses before

We

mind

whole.
58
Additional illustrations of Mr. Stewari s doctrine

These views and

illustrations are still further

1807, Sir Everard Home, well known for his various phil the Royal Society an osophical publications, read before account of two blind children whom he had couched for One of these was John Salter. Upon this the cataract. various experiments were made, for the purpose, boy sense of among other things, of ascertaining whether the and of itself alone, give us a knowlsight does originally, Some of the facts eliedge of the true figure of bodies. cited under these circumstances have a bearing upon the now before us. In repeated instances, on the day
subject

by some

interesting,

and perhaps more decisive

confirmed In facts.

it for some time, and said at last that he had found a corner, and then readily counted the four corners of the square ; and afterward, when a triangle was shown him, he counted the corners in the same way; but, in to cordoing so, his eye went along the edge from corner 5 On the thirteenth ner, naming them as he went along.' he day after the cataract was removed, the visual power had acquired was so small, that he could not by sight tell a square from a circle, without previously directing his of the square figure as he did at first, .sight to the corners and thus passing from corner to corner, and counting them one by one. It was noticed that the sight seemed to labour slowly onward from one point and angle to another, as if it were incapable of embracing the outline by a

of his restoration to sight, the boy called square and triwere presented to the visual sense angular bodies, which to him, merely, round. On a square body being presented " This he expressed a desire to touch it. being refused,

he examined

simultaneous and undivided movement.


perception,

The

process,

however, became more and more easy and rapid, until which at first was obviously made up of the
distinct -and successive acts,

(and

we may

suppose

it

came to be in appearance was only in appearance) a con-

centrated ar*d single one.

CONCEPTIONS.
It

73
It is

was the same with Caspar Hauser.

remarked

his biographer, that whenever a person was introduced to him, (this was probably soon after his release from

by

he went up very close to him, regarded him with a sharp, staring look, and noticed particularly each distinct part of his face, such as the forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, and chin. He then collected and consolidated a}] the different parts of the countenance, which he had noticed separately and piece by piece, into one whole. And it was not till after this process that he seemed to have a knowledge of the countenance or face, in distinction from the parts of the face.
his prison,)

CHAPTER

VIIL

CONCEPTIONS.
59.

Meaning and charactenstics of conceptions

are now led, as we advance in the general subject of intellectual states of EXTERNAL ORIGIN, to contemplate the mind in another view, viz., as employed in giving rise Without proto what are usually termed coNCEpnoNS. a definition in all respects unexcepfessing to propose tionable, we are entitled to say, in general terms, that this

WE

name is given to any re-existing sensations whatever which the mind has felt at some former period, and to the ideas which we frame of absent objects of perception. Whenever we have conceptions, our sensations and perin the ceptions aie replaced, as Shakspeare expresses it, mind's eye," without our at all considering at what In other time or in what place they first originated. words, they are revived or recalled, and nothing more. term CONCEPTIONS to express a class Using, therefoie, the of mental states, and, in accordance with the general reference in our remarks here to plan, having particular
'

such as are of external origin, it may aid ^in the better if we mention understanding of their distinctive character how they differ both from sensations more
particularly

74
and
last

CONCEPTIONS.
perceptions, and also from remembrances, with whict some may imagine them to be essentially the same.

(I.)

Conceptions

differ

and perceptions
their objects are

in this respect, that both their causes

from the ordinary sensations and

absent When the rose, the honeysuckle, or other odoriferous body is presented to us, the effect which follows in the mind is termed a sensation. When we afterward think of that sensation, (as we sometimes
express it,) when the sensation is recalled, even though very imperfectly, without the object which originally caused it being present, it then becomes, by the use of inlanguage, a CONCEPTION. And it is the same in any

stance of perception. When, in strictness of speech, we are said to perceive anything, as a tree, a building, or a mountain, the objects of our perceptions are in all cases*
before us.

form conceptions of them they and exist in the mind's eye, however remote they may be in fact, both in time and place. (H) They differ also from remembrances or ideas of memory. We take no account of the period when those "objects which laid the foundation of them were present ; whereas, in every act of the memory, there is combined

But

we may

may be

recalled

with the conception a notion of the past. Hence, as those states of mind, which we call conceptions, possess these distinctive marks, they are well entitled to a separate name. CONCEPTIONS are in their appearance and disregulated appearance by the principles of Association, which will be explained hereafter. Whenever at any time we may 35 use the phrase "power of conception or " faculty of conception," nothing more is to be understood by such expressions than this, that there is in the mind a susceptibility of feelings or ideas possessing the marks which we

have ascribed

to this class.
60.

Of conceptions of

objects of sight

of the striking facts in regard to our conceptions is, that we can far more easily conceive of the objects of some senses than of others. He who has visited the Pyramids of Egypt and the imposing remains of Grecian temples, or has beheld, among nature's still greater works.

One

CONCEPTIONS

75

the towering heights of the Alps and the mighty cataract of Niagara, will never afterward be at a loss in forming a vivid conception of those interesting objects. The vis-

ual perceptions are so easily and so distinctly recalled, that it is hardly too much to say of them, that they seem
It is related to exist as permanent pictures in the mind. of Carsten Niebuhr, a well-known traveller in the East that, in extreme old age, after he had become blind, he entertained his visiters with interesting details of what he had seen many years before at Persepolis ; describing the walls on which the inscriptions and bas-reliefs of which he spoke were found, just as one would describe a building which he had recently visited. His son, who has given an account of his life, remarks, in connexion with " this fact could not conceal our astonishment. He
:

We

said to us, that, as he lay blind upon his bed, the images of all that he had seen in the East were ever present to
his soul
;

and

it

was

therefore

speak of them as of yesterday.

no wonder that he should In like manner, there was

vividly reflected to him, in the hours of stillness, the nocturnal view of the deep Asiatic heavens, with their brilliant host of stars,

or else their blue

which he had so often contemplated ; and lofty vault by day ; and this was

his greatest enjoyment." There seems to be less vividness in the conceptions of sound, touch, taste, and smell ; particularly the last three.

Every one knows that


recall

it is

difficult in

ordinary cases to

with much distinctness a particular pain which we have formerly experienced, or a particular taste, or smell. The fact that the perceptions of sight are more easily and distinctly recalled than others, may be thus partially ex
Visible objects, or, rather, the outlines of them, plained. are complex ; that is, they are made up of a great number of points or very small portions. Hence the conception

which we form of such an object as a whole, i& aided by the principles of association. The reason is As every original perception of a visible object obvious. is a compound made up of many parts, whenever we subsequently have a conception of it, the process is the same we have a conception of a part of the object, and the principles of association help us in conceiving of the
;

76
other parts.
presents them

CONCEPTIONS.

Association connects the parts together ; it to the mind in their proper arrangement,

and helps

to sustain

them

there.

We

are not equally aided

by

the laws of association

in forming our conceptions of the objects of the other When we think of some sound, taste, touch, or senses. the object of our conception is either a single desmell, tached sensation or a series of sensations. In every such

detached sensation of sound,

taste, touch, or smell,

whethei

we

subsequently and intimate recalled, there is not necessarily that fixed association of the parts which we suppose to exist in
consider
it

at its first origin, or

when

it is

jects others.

and which must exist also in every visual perception, of objects of sight which subsequently every conception takes place. Accordingly, our conceptions of the latter oband are more distinct, than of the aiise more
readily,

There
there
is

is

a greater readiness and distinctness

also,

a series of sensations and perceptions of the subsequent visual conceptions are aided by sight, for associations both in time and place ; but the recurrence of other sensations and perceptions is aided only by asso-

when

ciations in time.
61.
It is

Of

the influence of habit

on our conceptions

another circumstance worthy of notice in regard to conceptions, that the power of forming them depends few instances will help to in some measure on HABIT.

what is termed Habit mayextend to the susceptibility of conceptions ; and the first Our conto be given will be of conceptions of sound. of sound are not, in general, remarkably distinct, ceptions
illustrate the statement, that

as

was intimated

in the last section.

It is

nevertheless

the power ol true, that a person may by practice acquire written music. amusing himself with merely reading sounds with the notes, Having frequently associated the he has at last such a strong conception of the sounds, that he experiences, by merely reading the notes, a very It is for the same reason, viz., because sensible pleasure. our conceptions are strengthened by repetition or practice, that readers may enjoy the harmony of poetical numbers without at all articulating the words. In both cases they

CONCEPTIONS.
truly hear nothing

77

there is no actual sensation of sound; ; and yet theie is a virtual enunciation and melody in the It seems to be on this principle we are enabled to mind. explain the fact, that Beethoven composed some of his most valued musical pieces after he had become entirely deaf ; originating harmonic combinations so profound and
exquisite as to require the nicest ear as a test, at the very time he was unable to hear anything himself.
$ 62

Influence of habit on conceptions of sight.

That our power of forming conceptions is strengthened by habit, is capable of being further illustrated from the sight. A person who has been accustomed to di*awof a building, ing, retains a much more perfect notion landscape, or other visible object, than one who has not has been in the portrait painter, or any person who trace the outlines practice of drawing such sketches, can of the human form with very great ease; it requires hardly more effort from them than to write their names. This point may also be illustrated by the difference which we sometimes notice in people in their conceptions

of colours.

Some

are fully sensible of the difference be-

tween two colours when they are presented to them, but cannot with confidence give names to these colours when even confound the one with they see them apart, and may Their original sensations and perceptions are the other. supposed to be equally distinct with those of other persons
far

but their subsequent conception of the colours is from being so. This defect arises partly, at least, from want of practice that is to say, from the not havwho exhibit this weaking formed a habit. The persons ness of conception have not been compelled, by their situation nor by mere inclination, to distinguish and to
;
;

name

colours so
63

much

as

is

common.

Of

the subserviency of our conceptions to description

the talent for lively descriphighly favourable to tion, person's conceptions are readily suggested and are distinct. Even such a one's common conversation differs from that of those whose conceptions arise
It is

when a

more slowly and are more

faint.

G2

One man, whether

in

78

CONCEPTIONS.

conversation or in written description, seems to place the to describe directly before us ; it object which he wishes to the life. Another, alis represented distinctly and not wanting in a command of language, is conthough fused and embarrassed amid a multitude of particulars,

of his concepwhich, in consequence of the feebleness half acquainted with ; and he tions, he finds himself but therefore gives us but a very imperfect and confused no
tion of the thing
It

which he

desires to

make known.

has been by some supposed, that a person might of an edifice, of a landscape, give a happier description or other object, from the conception than from the actual The perfection of ^a description doesperception of it. riot always consist in a minute specification of circumstances ; in general, the description is better when there The best rule for maselection of them. is a
judicious

king the selection

is

to attend to the particulars that

make

the deepest impression on our own minds, or, what is the same thing, that most readily and distinctly take a place
in our conceptions.
us,
it

When

the object

is

actually before
after-

is

extremely

difficult to

compare the impressions

which

different circumstances produce.

When we

ward conceive of the object, we possess merely the outline of it ; but it is an outline made up of the most stri-

The circumstances, it is true, will not king circumstances. all persons alike, but will somewhat vary with impress But when, with a correct and the degree of their taste. delicate taste, any one combines lively conceptions, and from those conceptions, he can hardly gives a description fail to succeed in it. And, accordingly, we find here one element of power. It is the ability of formpoetic great bodies forth ing vivid conceptions which
,

" The forms of the poet's pen things unknown Turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing " and a name

local habitation

64,

Of conceptions attended with a momentary

belief.

Oar conceptions are sometimes attended with

belief \

when they

are very lively, we are apt to ascribe to a real outward existence, or believe in them. not undertake to assert that the belief is permanent

We
;

them do
bui

CONCEPTIONS.,

79

a number of facts strongly lead to the conclusion that il has a momentary existence. painter, in drawing the features and bodily form
(1.)

of an absent friend, may have so strong a conception, so vivid a mental picture, as to believe for a moment that his friend is before him. After carefully recalling his thoughts
at such times, and reflecting upon them, almost ever^ painter is ready to say that he has experienced some illusions of
this kind.

"

We

Sir

Joshua Reynolds,

that, when read," says Dr. Conolly, after being many hours occupied in

"

out into the street, the lamp-posts seempainting, walked ed to him to be trees, and the men and women moving It is true, the illusion is in these cases veryshrubs."

because the intensity of conception, which is the foundation of it, can never be kept up long when the mind is in a sound state. Such intense conceptions are unnatural. And, further, all the surrounding objects of
short,

which no one can altogether disregard for any perception, tend to check the illusion and terminate it length of time,

blow is aimed at any one, although in knows it to be so, he forms so vivid a sport, conception of what might possibly be the effect, that his belief is for a moment controlled, and he unavoidably This is particularly the case if the shrinks hack from it. blow approaches the eye. Who can help winking at
(2.)

When

and he

fully

such times ? It is a proof of our belief being controlled under such circumstances, that we can move our own hands rapidly in the neighbourhood of the eye, either
or horizontally ; and, at the same time, perpendicularly motion. But when the moeasily keep our eyelids from tion is made by another, the conception becomes more Again, vivid, and a belief of danger inevitably arises. of a high tower ; his place a person on the battlements reason tells him he is in no danger 5 he knows he is in none. But, after all, he is unable to look down from the battlements without fear ; his conceptions are so exceedas to induce a momentary belief of danger ingly vivid ia opposition to all his reasonings. we are in pain fiom having struck our fooi (3.) When a stone, or when pain is suddenly caused in us by against any other inanimate object, we are apt to vent a moment-

80
ary rage upon
it

CONCEPTIONS,

That

is to

ed for an instant, that

we

is so affectsay, our belief ascribe to it a,n accountable ex-

with belief, that poets so often ascribe life, and agency, and intention to the rain and winds, to storms, and thunder and lightning. How natural are the expressions of the ingratitude of his King Lear, overwhelmed with and standing with his old head bared to the daughters,
pelting tempest
" Nor
I
!

This is obit accordingly. istence, and would punish It is on served particularly in children and in Savages. the principle of our vivid conceptions being attended

are rain, wind, thunder, fire I tax not you, ye elements, with

my

daughters
,

unkmdness

never gave you kingdoms, called you children

"

are persons who are entirely (4.) There the folly of the popular belief of ghosts and other nightbut who cannot be persuaded to sleep in ly apparitions, a room alone, nor go alone into a room in the dark Whenever they happen out at night, they are constantly their quickened perceptions behold looking on every side ; which never had any existence except in their images, own minds, and they are the subjects of continual dismisfortune," says Dr. and even terror. "It was
quiet

convinced of

my

Priestly, invisible

invisible powers, and, coning I believe nothing of those with darkness, or anything sequently, of their connexion in every kind of situation else, I cannot be perfectly easy I am sensible I gam ground upon in the dark,

have the idea of darkness, and the ideas of malignant spirits and apparitions very closely connected in my infancy; and to this day, notwithstandto

though

.his prejudice continually."

In all such cases we see the influence of the prejudices Persons who are thus afflicted were of the nursery. to form conceptions of ghosts, taught in early childhood visible hobgoblins, and unearthly spirits ; and the habit It is true, when they listen to their reastill continues. and philosophy, they may well say they do not sonings But the effect of their philosobelieve in such things. to check their belief; not in ten cases in a is

phy

merely thousand is the belief entirely overcome.


hile, hi all solitary places,

Every

little

and especially in the dark, it

CONCEPTIONS.
returnSj and,
sons.
65. Conceptions

81

when banished, returns again ; otherwise we cannot give an explanation of the conduct of these perwhich are joined with perceptions

The belief in our mere conceptions is the more evident and striking whenever at any time they are joined is with our perceptions. walking person, for instance, in a field in a foggy morning, and perceives something, no matter what it is ; but he believes it to be a man, and does not doubt it. In other words, he truly perceives some and, in addition to that perception, has a

mental conception of a man, attended with belief. When he has advanced a few feet further, all at once he perceives that what he conceived to be a man is merely a stump with a few stones piled on its top. He perceived at first, as plainly or but little short of it, that it was a were the whole stump, as in a moment afterward ; there time very nearly the same visible form and the same dimensions in his eye.

object,

man

in his

mind

at the

But he had the conception of a same moment, which overruled

being
it is

and annulled the natural effects of the visual perception ; the conception, being associated with the present visible and permanency; so object, acquired peculiar strength much so, that he truly and firmly believed that a human was before him. But the conception has departed ;
the present object of perception has taken its place, and now impossible for him to conjure up the phantom, the reality of which he but just now had no doubt of. One of the numerous characters whom Sir Walter Scott has sketched witli so much truth to nature, speaks of himself as banished, on a certain occasion, to

being one of the sandy Keys of the West Indies, which was reThis perputed to be inhabited by malignant demons. after acknowjedging he had his secret apprehensions son, " upon their account, remarks, In open daylight or in absolute darkness I did not greatly apprehend their apor when proach ; but in the misty dawn of the morning, the first week of my evening was about to fall, I saw, for abode on the Key, many a dim and undefined spectre ; now resembling a Spaniard, with his capa wrapped

82

CONCEPTIONS.

brella,

arovnd him, and his Huge sombrera, as large as an umupon his head ; now a Dutch sailor, with his rough cap and trunk hose and now an Indian Cacique, with I always his feathery crown and long lance of cane.
;

approached them, but, whenever I drew near, the phantom changed into a bush^ or a piece of driftwood, or a wreath of mist, or some such cause of deception." But it is unnecessary to resort to books for illustrations of this topic. Multitudes of persons have a conceptive is often troublesome and perfacility of creations, which plexing; especially in uncommon situations, and in the
night.

And
it

in all cases this tendency


it

is

greatly strength-

ened, whenever

can lay hold of objects, the outlines


to
its

of which

can pervert

own

purposes.

In instan-

where the conceptions are upheld, as it were, by present objects of perception, and receive a sort of permanency from them, nothing is better known than that we often exercise a strong and unhesitating belief. These instances, therefore, can properly be considered as illustrating and confirming" the views in the precedingces of this kind,
section.
$ 66. Conceptions as connected with fictitious representations

These observations -suggest an explanation, at least in part, of the effects which are produced on the mind by
exhibitions of fictitious distress. In the representation of tragedies, for instance, it must he admitted, that there is a general conviction of the whole being but a fiction. But, although persons enter the theatre with this general conviction, it docs not always remain with them the

whole

time.

in the poet,
all is

At certain peculiarly interesting passages and at certain exhibitions of powerful and

well-timed effort in the actor, this general impression, that a fiction, fails. The feelings of the spectator may be said to rush into the scenes ; he mingles in the events ; carried away and lost, he for a moment believes all to be real, and the tears gush at the catastrophe which he wit-

The explanation, therefore, of the emotions felt at the exhibition of a tragedy, such as indignation, pity, and abhorrence, is, that at certain parts of the exhibition
nesses.

we have a momentary

belief in the reality of the events

SIMPLICITY

AND COMPLEXNESS OF MENTAL STATES.

83

*vhich are represented.

And

after the illustrations

which

have been given, such a belief cannot be considered imThe same explanation will apply to the emopossible. tions which follow our reading of tragedies when alone,
or

any other natural and affecting

descriptions.

In the

world of conceptions which the genius of the writer conjures up, we are transported out of the world of real existence, and for a while fully believe in the reality of what is only an incantation.

CHAPTER

IX.

SIMPLICITY AND COMPLEXNESS OF


67

MENTAL STATES

Origin of the distinction of simple and complex

IN looking at our thoughts and feelings, as they continually pass under the review of our internal observation, we readily perceive that they are not of equal worth ; we do not assign to them the same estimate ; one state of mind is found to be expressive of one thing only, and that
thing,

whatever
;

it

is, is

precise,

and

definite,
is

and
to

insep-

arable

while another state of mind

found

be ex-

And pressive of, and virtually equal to, many others. hence we are led, not only with the utmost propriety, but even by a sort of necessity, to make a division of the
vvhole
ion

of SIMPLE
;

body of our mental affections into the two classes and COMPLEX. Nature herself makes the divisit is one of those characteristics which gives to the

mind, in part at least, its greatness ; one of those elements of power, without which the soul could not be what it is, and without a knowledge of which it is difficult to posses a full and correct understanding of it in other respects.
68. Nature and characteristics of simple mental states.

We shall first offer some remarks on those mental states which are simple, and shall aim to give an understanding of their nature, so far as can be expected on a subject, the clearness of which depends more on a reference to

SIMPLICITY AND COMPLEXNESS

our

own

personal consciousness than on the teachings of

others.

Let it be noticed then, in the first place, that a simple It is Idea CANNOT BE SEPARATED INTO PARTS. clearly implied in the very distinction between simplicity and complexity, considered in relation to the states of the mmd,
is

no such separation, no such division. It true of our simple ideas and emotions, and emphatically of all other simple states of the mind, that they are one
that there can be

and. indivisible. Whenever you can detect in them moio than one element, they at once lose their character of as complex, however simplicity, and are to be regarded

Inseparableness they may have previously appeared. consequently is their striking characteristic ; and it may be added, that they aie not only inseparable in themThere is selves, but are separate from everything else. nothing which can stand as a substitute for them where they are, or represent them where they are not ; they are independent unities, constituted exclusively by the mind itself, having a specific and positive character, but never
theless
$

known
69

only in themselves.
definition.

Simple mental states not susceptible of

be observed, in the second place, that our simple notions CANNOT BE DEFINED. This view of them follows necessarily from what has been said of their oneness and inseparableness, compared with what is universally unit

Let

derstood by defining. In respect to definitions, it is undoubtedly true, that we sometimes use synonymous words, and call such use a definition ; but it is not properly such. In every legitimate definition, the idea which is to be defar as may be thought necessubordinate parts ; and these parts are to be presented to the mind for its examination, instead of the This process original notion into which they entered. must be gone through in every instance of accurate defining ; this is the general and authorized view of definition ; and it is not easy to see in what else it can well

fined

is

to

be separated, as

sary, into

its

consist.

But this process will not apply to our simple thoughts and feelings, because, if there be any such as sirathing

OF MENTAL STATES.

upon meeting with such as shall be ultimate, and will reject alJ verbal explanation; otheiwise we can never corne to an end in the process. So that the simple mental affections are not only undefinable in themselves ; but if there were no such elementary slates of mind, there could be no defining in any other case; it would be merely analysis upon analysis, a process without completion, and a labour without end ; leaving the subject in as much darkness as
at last

pie mental states, they are characterized by insepai ableness and oneness. And furthermore, if we define ideas by employing other ideas, we must count

was begun. speak of simple ideas and feelings, and a person, in consequence of our inability^ to define them, professes to be ignorant of the terms we use, we can frequently aid him in understanding them by a statement of the circumstances, as far as possible, under which the simple mental state exists. But having done this, we can merely refer him to his own senses and consciousness, as the only teachers fiom which he can expect to receive

when

When we

the process

satisfaction.
<

70

Simple mental states repiesentative of a

reality,

or characteristic of simple mental states is, that they always stand for or REPRESENT A REALITY.In other woids, no simple idea is, in its own nature, dethird
lusive or fictitious, but always has something precisely It is not corresponding to it. always so with

mark

complex

ideas ; these, as Mr. Locke justly gives us to understand, are sometimes CHIMERICAL. That is to say ; the elements of which they are composed are so brought together and combined as to lorm something, of which nature presents no corresponding reality. If. for instance, a person had an idea of a body, yellow, or of some other colour, malleable, fixed ; possessing, in a word, all the qualities of iron
or of gold, with this difference only, of its being lighter than water, it would be what Mr. Locke terms a CHIMERICAL idea ; because the combination of the elements here exists only in the human mind, and not in nature ; the The words thing has no outward or objective reality.

CENTAUR, DRAGON, and HYPOGRIFF, which are the well-

S5

SIMPLICITY AND COMPLEXNESS


for

known names

imaginary beings possessing ideas. existence, are expressive of chimerial complex These ideas have nothing corresponding to them. But it If it were is riot so with the simple states of the mind.
^

no actual

truth we naturally otherwise., since in our inquiries after from what is complex to what is simple, there proceed

would be no sure foundation of kn@wledge.

Whenever,

our analysis of a subject, we arrive at truly simple is no mistake, no deideas, we have firm footing ; there lusion. Nature, always faithful to her own character, But man, in combito the truth alone. gives utterance the elements which nature furnishes, does ning together not always avoid mistakes,
71

Orjgm of complex

notions,

and

their relation to simple

Our simple states of mind, which we have thus endeavoured to explain, were probably first in origin. There are reasons for considering them as antecedent in point of time to our complex mental states, although in many cases mind from it may not be easy to trace the progress of the The complex notions of external the one to the other.
^

material objects embrace the separate and simple notions of resistance, extension, hardness, colour, taste, and others. As these elementary perceptions evidently have their oriand separate senses, it is but reasonable to gin in distinct a simple, before they are comsuppose that they possess bined together in a complex existence. Simple ideas, as antecedent, in point be

therefore, may justly regarded of time, to those which are complex, and as laying the foundation of them. Hence we see that it is sufficiently near the truth, and that it is not improper, to speak of our complex ideas as This is the derived from, or made up of, simple ideas. well-known language of Mr. Locke on this subject \ and ivhen we consider how much foundation there is for it in the constitution and operations of the human mind, there
is

states of the

good reason for retaining it. Although purely simple mind are few in number, vast multitudes of a complex nature are formed from them. The ability which the mind possesses of originating complex thoughts and feelings from elementary ones, may be compared to

OF MENTAL STATES.
aur

87

in the formation

power of uniting together the letters of the alphabet of syllables and words.
Supposed complexness without the antecedence of simple feelings.

72

some persons may object to the docproposed in the last section, that complex mental states are subsequent in point of time to those which are simple ; and may be inclined to adopt the opinion, that some, at least, of our complex notions are framed at once and immediately, whenever an occasion presents itself, and are not necessarily dependent on the prior existence
It is possible that

trine

of any other feelings.

When

the eye, for instance, opens

on a wide and diversified landscape, they suppose the whole to be embraced in one complex mental state, the formation of which is not gradual and susceptible of measurement by time, but is truly instantaneous. When
direct our attention to objects of less extent, as a portrait, a landscape, or historical painting, they imagine it
co

we

be

still

more evident, that the complexity of mind, cor-

responding to the complexity of the object, is a result Without doubt, what without any antecedent process. has now been said is, in some instances, apparently the case ; but this appearance (for we cannot speak of it as anything more than such) is susceptible of an obvious exthe general principlanation, without an abandonment of No one is ignorant that ple which has been laid down. the mind often passes with exceeding rapidity along the This rapidity successive objects of its contemplation.

may, in some cases, be so great, that no foundation will be laid for remembrance ; and of course, in such cases,
the complex feeling has the appearance of being formed without the antecedence of other simple feelings. Often the eye glances so rapidly over the distinct parts of the the historical painting, or even the wide^ landportrait, that we are utterly unable in our recollection to scape, There natudetect the successive steps of its progress. seems, therefore, to be but one view, instead of disrally
tinct

and

successive glances of the

from

forest to forest, and from to the supposed one other,

prior

mind from hill to hill, one verdant spot to anand instantaneous comis

prehension

of the whole.

But there

much

reason

for

88

SIMPLICITY AND COMPLEXNESS

of comprehension is in seeming saying that this oneness and appearance only, and not in fact. (See 57, 58.)
73

The

piecise sense

m which complexness

is to

be understood

sometimes appear to be otherwise, necessarily possess no of course, higher unity than that of juxtaposition, and, can be literally separated from each other, and then put There is nothing of this kind ; neither

But while we distinctly assert the frequent complexness of the mental affections, it should be particularly kept in in the light of a mind, that they are not to be regarded material compound, where the parts, although it may

sense of the expressions, what then constitutes their comoccasion for the imporplexness? This inquiry gives is tant remark, that complexness in relation to the

together again. this literal and nor taking asunder, putting together But if our thoughts and feelings are not material sense. made up of others, and are not complex in the material

mmd

not

literal,

but virtual only.

What we

term a complex

but at the same time it is feeling is in itself truly simple, to many others, and is complex only in that sense. equal

and emotion following emotion^ and as they are called forth by the ; passes through the operation of the laws of association, many of them Then there to the same object. necessarily have relation follows a new state of mind, which is the result of those sense already exprevious feelings, and is complex in the That is to say, it is felt by us to possess a virplained. tual equality to those separate antecedent thoughts and Our simple feelings are like streams coming emotions. from different mountains, but meeting and mingling toof some intermediate gether at last in the common centre the tributary fountains are no longer separable; lake; but have disappeared, and become merged and confound Or they ed in the bosom of their common resting-place. be likened to the cents and dimes of the American

Thought

after thought,

mmd

may

coinage, tens and hundreds of which are represented by a single EAGLE ; and yet the eagle is not divided into a hundred or thousand parts, but has as much unity as the

numerous pieces for which it stands. The language which expresses the composition and

OF MENTAL STATES.

8&

complexity of thought is, therefore, to be regarded as wholly metaphorical when applied to the mind, and is We are under the not to be taken in its literal meaning.
necessity of employing in this case, as in others, language which has a material origin, but we shall not be led

by it if we carefully attend to what has been said, and pndeavour to aid our conception of it by a reference
astray
to our internal experience.

74

Illustrations of analysis as applied to the mind.

The subject of the preceding section will be the better understood by the consideration of Analysis as applicable to As we do not combine literally, so we do not the mind.
untie or separate literally ; as there is no literal complexness, so there is no literal resolution or analysis of it

we have a meaning when we speak of analyzing our thoughts and feelings. And what is it ? What are we to understand by the term analysis ? Although this subject is not without difficulty, both in the conception and in the expression of it, it is susceptible It will be remembered of some degree of illustration. The that there may be an analysis of material bodies. chemist analyzes when he takes a piece of glass, which appears to be one substance, and finds that it is not one, He but is separable into silicious and alkaline matter.
Nevertheless,

takes other bodies, and separates them in like manner ; and whenever he does this, the process is rightly called

Now we apply the same term to the mind ; but the thing expressed by it, the process gone through, is not the same. All we can say is, there is something like this. do not resolve and separate a complex thought, as we do a piece of glass or other material body, into its to do it, if we should separts ; we are utterly unable state is, in itself riously make the attempt ; every mental

analysis.

We

and in

simple and indivisible, and is complex only notions are the results rather than the compounds of former feelings ; and though not literof parts, have the relation to them which ally made up material whole has to the elements composing it ; any and in that particular sense may be said to comprehend
fact,

virtually.

Complex

H2

90

SIMPLICITY AND COMPLEXNESS

or embrace the subordinate notions.

Mental analysis ac-

this relation. perform cordingly concerns merely such an analysis when, by the aid of our reflection and and consciousness, we are able to indicate those separate to which, in our conception of it, subordinate

We

feelings

the

complex mental state The term GOVERNMENT,

is

virtually equal. for instance, when

used in ref-

erence to the mental perception of the thing thus named, state of the mind ; we may make expresses a complex
this

mental

state,

which

is in fact

only one, although

it is

a subject of contemplation ; and virtually more than one, we are said to analyze it when we are able to indicate those separate and more elementary notions, without the existence and antecedence of which it could not have do not literally take the the mind. been formed

by

We
we

complex

state in pieces, but

designate other states of

mind which,

knowledge of the origin of every^ convinces him, must have preceded it, such as the thought ideas of power, right, obligation, command, and the relative notions of superior and inferior.
one's
$

75

Complex notions of

external origin

doctrine of simplicity and complexness of mental both its forms, to the Intellective applicable, in and Sensitive parts of our nature ; in other words, there as a commay be a complex affection or passion, as well The acts of the Will, the other great plex perception. When Division of the mental nature, are always simple. we consider the subject in reference to the intellect alone, add further, that there is complexity of the Inwe

The

states is

both in its internal and external action and it reems proper, in this connexion, to say something in particular Of COMPLEX NOTIONS OF EXTERNAL ORIGIN. What we term our simple ideas are representative of The sensations of colour, such the parts of objects only. as red, white, yellow ; the original intimations from the
tellect
;

may

touch, such as resistance, extension, hardness, and softness, do not, in themselves considered, give us a knowledge of

substances, but only of the parts, attributes, or elements of of substances. Accordingly, the ideas which we have the various objects of the external world are, for the

OF MENTAL STATES.

91
a

tree, speak most part, complex. and in none of flowei, a plant, a mineral, an animal ; these cases are the ideas which -we have simple 5 "but, on the contrary, embrace a considerable number of elements

We

of a house, a

76

Of

objects contemplated as wholes

weight, ever else we discover in it. This is a complex term, and use the term GOLD. in the corresponding mental state. implies a complexity But if we use the word gold, or any other synonymous that word, in the hearing of a. man who has neither seen substance nor had it explained to him, he will not under-

and common thoughts upon it, (the result probably of some antecedent and very early training), men undoubtedit as a whole ; the state of mind which ly contemplate This complex has reference to it embraces it as such. is virtually equal notion, like all others which are complex, to a number of others of a more elementary character. account of Hence, when we are called upon to give an the loadstone, we can return no other answer than by an enumeration of its elements. It is something which has and whatcolour, hardness, power to draw iron,

the various external objects which notice are presented to us as wholes ; been the original proand, as such, (whatever may have cess leading to that result,) we very early contemplate In their ordinary them. Take, for instance, a LOADSTONE

In point of

fact,

come under our

We

stand what
into

is

the qualities of yellowness, great weight, fusibility, duclook upward to the sun in the heavens. &c. tility, But what should we know of that great aggregate, if we could not contemplate it in the elements of form and exof roundness and regutension, of brightness and heat, ? All the ideas, therefore, which we larity of motion form of external objects considered as wholes, are comnotions are composed of and all such

an analysis

meant to be conveyed. We must enter and show that it is a combination of


;

We

plex;
those

complex which are simple.

92

ABSTRACTION.

CHAPTER

X,

ABSTRACTION
77
Abstraction implied in the analysis of complex ideas

THE remarks which have been made

in the

course^of

the foregoing chapter, on the analysis and examination

of our Complex Intellectual states, naturally lead to the consideration of another subject, in some respects intiWhen we have once that topic. mately connected with formed a complex notion (no matter at what period, in

what way,
that

or of

what kind,)

we

desire, for various reasons, to

ticularly

some of its parts. the full understanding of lutely necessary to

not unfrequently happens examine more parVery frequently this is absoit


it.

Although

undoubtedly its elementary parts once came under review, that time is now long past ; it has become important to institute a new inspection, to take each simple And this notion involved in it, and examine it by itself.

done by means of the process of ABSTRACTION; and in no other way. By the aid of that process, our complex notions, howis

ever comprehensive they may be, are susceptible, if onf allowed so to speak, of being taken to pieces,, and the elementary parts may be abstracted or separated from each other ; that is, they are made subjects of consideration apart from other ideas, with which they are

may be

ordinarily found to be associated.

And hence, whenever


of the mind, they

this is the case in respect to the states

are sometimes called ABSTRACTIONS, and still more freFor quently are known by the name of ABSTRACT IDEAS.

the purpose of distinctness in what we have to say s they may be divided into the two classes of Particular and General ; that is to say, in some cases the abstraction relates only to

a single idea or element, in others

it

in-

cludes

more

ABSTRACTION.
78
Instances of particular abstract ideas

93

We

lar abstractions.

shall proceed, therefore, to remark first Of this class, the notions

on Particuwhich we

instances.

form of the different kinds of colours may be regaided as For example, we hold in our hand a rose ; it

The mind is has extension, colour, form, fragrance. so deeply occupied with the colour as almost wholly to This is a species of abstracneglect the other qualities.
although perhaps an imperfect one, because, when is before us, it is difficult, in our most attentive consideration of any particular quality or property, to withdraw the mind wholly from the others. When, on the contrary, any absent object of perception occurs to us, when we think of or form a conception of it, our thoughts will readily fix upon the colour of such object, and make that the subject of consideration, without particularly regarding its other qualities, such as weight, hardness, taste, form, &c. may also distinguish in any body
tion,

an object

We

present, or still more perfectly when absent) its solidity from its extension, or we may direct our attention to its eight, or its length, or breadth, or thickness,
(either

when

and make any one of these a distinct object in our thoughts. And hence, as it is a well-known fact that the properties of any body may be separated in the view and examination of the mind, however closely they may be connected in their appropriate subjects, we may lay down this statement in respect to the states of the mind before us, viz.: When any quality or attribute of an object, which does not exist by itself, but in a state of combination, is detached by our minds from its customary associates, and is considered separately, the notion we form of The distinctive it becomes a particular abstract idea.

mark

quality.

is, that the abstraction is limited to one should perhaps be particularly added, that the abstraction or separation may exist mentally, when it cannot take place in the object itself. For instance, the size, the figure, length, breadth, colour, &c. ? of a building, may each of them be made subjects of separate mental

of this class
It

consideration, although there can be no real or actual sepIf there be aration of these things in the building itself.

any one of these properties, there must necessarily be

all

94
Q

ABSTRACTION
79.

Mental process

in separating

and abstracting them.


on.

The
is

manner of expressing ourselves

the subject of

our abstract notions, to which

we have been

accustomed,

employed solely an impression pear to be well founded. It will convey nearer the truth to speak of the PROCESS rather than the The following statement will be of abstraction.

in the existence of a apt to create and cherish a belief mental faculty, adapted solely to this particular separate But the doctrine of a power or faculty of abpurpose. which is exclusive of other mental susceptibilistraction, for this purpose, does not apties, and is

power

sufficient to

show how

those of the

first class,

or particuarise

lar abstract ideas, are formed. our earliest notions,

Although

whether they

from

the senses or are of an internal origin, are simple, existthose siming in an independent and separate state, yet to unite together with a ple thoughts are very soon found of permanency, and out of them are considerable

formed complex states of mind. Many are in this wav combined together in one, and the question is, how this combination is to be loosened, and the elementary parts are to be extracted from their present complexity ? In answer, it may be said that, in every case of separthere must necessarily be ating a particular abstract idea, a determination, a choice, an act of the will. This voluntary state of mind must concern the previous complex mental state, when viewed in one respect, rather than another ; or, what is the same thing, it will concern one than another. So that part of the complex idea rather we may truly and justly be said to have not only a desire, but a determination to consider or examine some part of the complex idea more particularly than the others.

degree

When the mind

is in this manner directed to any particular part of a complex notion, we find it to be the fact, that the principle of association, or whatever principle it is which keeps the other parts in their state of union with in a greater or less degree, to operate and to it, ceases,

maintain that union ; the other parts rapidly fall off and disappear, and the particular quality, towards which the mind is especially directed, remains the sole subject of
consideration.

That is

to say, it is abstracted, or

becomes

ABSTRACTION.

an abstract

idea.

If,

for

example,

we have

in

mind the

flowcomplex notion of any object, a house, tree, plant, to er, and the like, tut have a desire and determination which forms a part of this complex nomake the colour, of attention, the consequence is, tion, a particular subject of colour occupies our chief rewhile the
that,

quality

will disappear and no more be gard, the other qualities If we determine to examine the weight or of. thought extension of an object, the result will be the same \ in

other words, the extension, weight, colour, &c.,^ becoming distinct and exclusive objects of attention, will be abstracted.

This, in the formation

of particular abstract ideas,


;

seems to be the process of the mind, and nothing more


viz.,

The

part of a complex the part towards which the mental choice

direction of an act of the will to a particular notion, and the consequent detention of
is

directed,

and

the natural and necessary disappearance, under such circumstances, of the other parts.
80. General abstract notions the

same with genera and

species.

We proceed now to consider the other class of


ideas.

abstract

General Abstract ideas are not only

different, in

number of elementaconsequence of embracing a greater which are Particular, but are also susry parts, from those from the great body of our ceptible of being distinguished

The idea, for example, which other complex notions. of any individual, of John, Peter, or James, is we form but it is not necessarily a genevidently a complex one, The notion which we frame of a particular eral one. horse or of a particular tree, is likewise a complex idea, but There will be found to be a clear disnot a general one. tinction between them, although it may not be perfectly GENERAL ABSTRACT IDEAS are our notions obvious at first.
of the classes of objects, that is, of Genera and Species* in most They are expressed by general names, without, or limitation, as when we use the
cases,

any defining WOrds ANIMAL, MAN, HORSE, BIRD, SHEEP, FISH, TREE, not tO of these various classes, but express any one in particular in general. animals, men, horses, &c.,

96

ABSTRACTION.

of genera and species. 81. Process in classification, or the forming

Now if our
ERA,

so far as they relate general abstract ideas,

!o external objects, are truly notions of of it will aid us in the better understanding

SPECIES

and GENthem if

we briefly consider how species and genera are formed. Men certainly find no great practical difficulty in forming
these classifications, since

we

find that they

do

fact

make them
period of

It is ob? in point of fact, is the process in classification classification can be made that no in the first

by

in numberless instances, in the process They seem to be governed What, then, definite and uniform mental tendencies.
life.

and

at

a very early

without considering two or more objects together. us for number of objects, therefore; are fiist presented to and inquiry, which are to "be examined our observation comparison with each first in themselves, and then will take a familiar scene to illustrate what other.

vious,

place,

We

takes place.

to stand on the bank ot a navisuppose ourselves its waters, the gable river ; we behold the flowing of

We

trees that line its shore, the cliffs that overhang it, the herds that boats and boatmen on its bosom, the flocks and drink from its waves. With such a scene press down to will rapidly before us, it is to be expected that the mind each and all of these the subjects of its contem-

make
far,

does plation; nor


difference.
tially alike.,

and inquiry it pursue this contemplation without perceiving certain relations of agreement or
Certain objects before
to
it

are felt to

be essen-

and essentially different ; are not all arranged in one class, but a dishence they crimination is made, and different classes are formed
and others

be

The

and herds are formed into their respective tall and leafy bodies on the river's bank, from each other in some respects, are although they differ found to agree in so many others, that they are aryet and called by the genranged together in another class, The living, moving, and reasoning eral name of TREE. the boats on its waters, form another that
flocks
classes.

The

beings
class,

and &re called MAN. And there is the same process and the same result in respect to all other bodies coming
vdtliii>

propel

the range of our observation.

ABSTRACTION
82
It

97

Early classifications sometimes incorrect

nas been intimated, that, in making these classifications, men are governed by definite and uniform mental tendencies ; still it must be acknowledged that mistakes are sometimes committed, especially in the early periods of society, and in all cases where the opportunities of examination and cpmparison are imperfect. When man
first opens his eyes on nature, (arid in the infancy of our race he finds himself a novice wherever he goes,) objects so numerous, so various in kind, so novel and interesting,

crowd upon

self to all at the


ical differences,

his attention, that, attempting to direct himsame time, he loses sight of their specif-

and blends them together more than a calm and accurate examination would justify. And hence it is not to be wondered at that our earliest classifications, the primitive genera and species, are sometimes incorrectly made. Subsequently, when knowledge has been in some measure amassed, and reasoning and observation have been brought to a greater maturity, these errors aie attended to ; individuals are rejected from species where they do not The most savproperly belong, and species from genera. and ignorant tribes will in due season correct their age mistakes and be led into the truth.
83
Illustrations of our earliest classifications

are naturally led to introduce one or two incidents here which throw light on this pait of our subject What we wish to illustrate is the simple fact that men and exhibit readily perceive the resemblances of objects,
a disposition to classify

We

blance.

The

first
is

case

them in reference to such resemwhich we shall mention in illus-

tration of this,

that of Caspar Hauser.

The

principal

had to amuse himself with in his prisobjects which Caspar on were two little wooden hoists, which, in his entire ignorance, he believed to be possessed of life and sensibility.
After the termination of his imprisonment, his biographei " informs us, that to every animal he met with, whether or biped, dog, cat, goose, or fowl, he gave the

quadruped

name of

horse." In the year 1814, Pitcairn's Island, a solitary spot in

98

ABSTRACTION.
cruisers.

it somewhat alarmed, and expressed a doubt whether a huge goat or a horned hog, these being the only was Travel* two species of quadrupeds they had ever seen." other instances where there is the same tenlers mention which we have not room to repeat dency to classify,

{he Pacific Ocean, was visited by two English Two of the young men that belonged on the island, and came whose knowledge was, of course, extremely limited, "The youths," says the the vessels. on board one of " were at the sight of so Narrative, greatly surprised the size of the ship, the guns, and many novel objects at them. Observing a cow, they were everything around
;

first

84.

Of

the natuie of general abstract ideas

which are thus formed in all cases of classare commonly known, in the Treatises having ification, ideas. relation to these subjects, as General Abstract And they are no less numerous than the multiplied variearound ties of objects which are found to exist everywhere of animal It is thus that we form the general notions us.

The

notions

of tree and the subordinate species of animals of earths, and minerals, and what; ever else is capable of being arranged into classes. But it is to be noticed that the general idea, whatevci be founded upon, does not embrace every objects it may which makes a part of such objects. When we particular look at a number of men, we find them all differing in some respects, in height, size, colour, tone of the voice, and The mind fixes only upon those in other particulars. with which it can combine the notraits or properties tion of resemblance ; that is to say, those traits, qualities,

and of

all

its

numeious varieties

or properties in which the individuals are perceived to be The complex mental other. like, or to resemble each
state,

and qualities and properties, more, (with the exception of the sujjeradded nothing notion of other bodies having lesembling qualities,) is a General Abstract idea. And hence the name. Such notions are called ABin STRACT, because, while embracing many individuals certain respects, they detach and leave out altogether a
which embraces these
variety of particulars in

which those individuals disagree

ABb FRACTION.

99

garded
ular.

If there weie not this discrimination and leaving out of certain parts, we never could consider these notions, reas wholes, as otherwise than individual or partic-

They are called GENERAL, because, in consequence of the discrimination and selection which has just been

mentioned, they embrace such qualities and properties as exist not in one merely, but in many.
$

85

The power

of general abstraction in connexion with numbers, &c.

The ability which the mind possesses of forming general abstract ideas, is of much practical importance. It is not easy to estimate the increase of power which is thus
given to the action of the human mind, particularly in reasoning. By means of general abstract propositions, we are able to state volumes in a few sentences ; that is
to say, the truths, stated

propositions, cations.

would

fill

and illustrated in a few general volumes in their particular appli-

Without the ability of forming general notions, we should not be able to number, even in the smallest deBefore we can consider objects as forming a mulgree. titude, or are able to number them, it seems necessary to be able to apply to them a common name. This we cannot do until we have reduced them to a genus ; and the formation of a genus implies the power (or process, rather) of abstraction. Consequently, we should be unable, without such power, to number. How great, then, is the
practical importance of that intellectual process by which Without the ability to general abstractions are formed ! number, we should be at a loss in our investigations

where

ify, all

we

without the power to class; our speculations must be limited to particulars, and should be capable of no general reasoning.
this ability is required

86

Of general

abstract truths or principles

There are not only general abstract ideas, but abstiact truths or principles also of a general nature, which are deserving of some attention, especially in a practical of view. Although enough has already been said
point
to

show the importance


have a more

of abstraction,

it

may

yet be de-

sirable to

full

view of its applications

ABSTRACTION.
in forming general truths or principles of process, must begin abstract nature, seems 10 be this. an with the examination and study of particuundoubtedly and characters, and with lais; with individual objects truth of insulated events. subsequently confirm the has been ascertained in such inquiry, by an c bwhatever proceed servation of other like objects and events.

The

We

We

We

from one individual to another,

till

no doubt remains.

or prinway arrived at some general fact thenceforward throw aside the consideration of ciple, and make the particular objects on which it is founded, the subject of our and

Having

in this

we

it

alone, exclusively

repeat this process again mental contemplations. taken till the mind, instead of being wholly and again, is stored with truths up with a multitude of particulars, of a general kind. These truths it subsequently combines in trains of compares together, and deduces
reasoning,

We

abstractly,

from them others of


87

still

wider application.

Of

the speculations of philosophers and others.


is

What

has been said leads us to observe, that there

characteristical difference between the speculations of

men

of philosophic minds and those of the common mass of of some notice. The difference people, which is worthy between the two is not so much, that philosophers are accustomed to carry on processes of reasoning to a greater extent, as this, that they are more in the habit of em-

general terms, ploying general abstract ideas which they form are that, consequently, the conclusions more comprehensive. Nor are their general reasonings, arrive seem, in although the conclusions at which they to indicate wonderful fertiltheir applications,
particular
ity

and

and

of invention, so

difficult in

the performance as

is

apt

to

at

They have so often and so long looked have been so general ideas and general propositions ;
be supposed.

accustomed, as one may say, to contemplate the general nature of things, divested of all superfluous and all specific circumstances, that they have formed a habit; and It requires the operation is performed without difficulty.
in such persons no greater intellectual effort than would be necessary in skilfuU,Aianaging the details of ordinary business.

OF ATTENTION,

concern particulars, and deducing together which from them to a great degree; but when they inferences their minds attempt to contemplate general propositions, and the conclusions which are drawn from are perplexed, them "appear obscure, however clearly the previous process of reasoning may have been expressed.
sitions

bulk of mankind differ of the speculations great those of philosophers in being, both in the subjects from They discover of them and in their results, particular. an inability to enlarge their view to universal propositions, which embrace a great number of individuals. They may of mere argiunent, of comparing propopossess the power

The

CHAPTER

XI.

OF ATTENTION.
88.

Of the

of attention general nature

to speak of attention considering it necessary a separate intellectual power or faculty, as some may as be inclined to do, it seems to be sufficient to say^that ATTENTION expresses the state of the mind, when it is steadfor a length of time, to some object of sense ily directed, When we say exclusive of other objects. or intellect,

WITHOUT

that
is

fact,
is

any subject of thought receives attention, it seems to^ be the purely internal, tlie intellect as far as we are able to determine, that
any external
object, or

which

is,

of its attention, whatever it occupied with the subject for for a certain period, and that all other things are, In other words, the grasp which the time being, shut out fixes upon the object of its contemthe
perceptive
is

plations

power an undivided, an unbroken one. But this a distinct does not appear to be all. There is not only but also an act of the 5 exclusive mental and
will, directing, condensing,

perception and confining the perception. in all cases of attention, the act of the mind may So that, the be regarded as a complex one, involving not only or series of perceptions, but also an act mere perception

102

OF ATTENTION.

of the will, founded on some feeling of desire or sentiment of duty. It is the act of the will, prompted in general which keeps the mind by the feeling of desire or interest,
intense and fixed in
$ 89
its

position.

Of

different degrees of attention.

In agreement with this view of the subject, we oiteii or small, as existing in a very speak of attention as great When the view of the mind high or a very slight degree. and is unaccompanied, as it generally is only momentary, force of emotion or energy of with at such
is

or series of objects, with earnestness, and for a considerable length of time, and refuses to attend to anything is said to be intense. else, then the attention of attention commonly judge at first of the degree which the to a subject from the length of time during But when we look a little is occupied with it mind deit will be found that the time will generally
ject,

When,

to be slight. volitive action, then the attention is said the mind directs itself to an obon the

times,

any

contrary,

We

further,

of the attendant pend upon the strength and permanency

And hence, both the time ^and the interest. of feeling are to "be regarded in our estimate of degree the power of attention in any particular case ; the former in some sense, a measure of the being the result, and,
emotion of
latter.
.

instances of people who are able to give but slight attention to any subject of thought, who cannot brinp we everytheir minds to it with steadiness and power, and there are some instances where where find multitudes,

Of

has been possessed in such a high degree asThere have been mathematicians to be worthy of notice. who could investigate the most complicated problems amid every variety and character of disturbance. It was he said of Julius Csesar, that, while writing a despatch, the same time dictate four others to ^his secretacould at could dictate seven ries ; and if he did not write himself, is asserted also of the The same once. letters at
this ability

thing

a wonderful Emperor Napoleon, who had


directing
fore

capability of

his

whole mental energy


>s c ^v of
1

to

whatever came beIL


\

him.*
?

-c Kj^aJitio.1 to Russia,

OF ATTENTION.
90

103
atten ion

Dependence of memory on

There seems to be no doctrine in mental philosophy more clearly established than this, that memory depends on attention ; that is, where attention is very slight, remembrance is weak, and where attention is intense, remembrance continues longer. There are many facts which confirm this statement.
in (1.) In the course of a single day, persons who are the habit of winking will close their eyelids perhaps thousands of times, and, as often as they close them, will Probably they are place themselves in utter darkness.

conscious at the time both of closing their eyelids and of being in the dark ; but, as their attention is chiefly taken up with other things, they have entirely forgotten it. or (2.) Let a person be much engaged in conversation, occupied with any very inteiestmg speculation, and the

clock will strike in the room where he is, apparently He hears the without his having any knowledge of it. clock strike as much as at any other time, but, not at-

tending to the perception of sound, and having his thoughts directed another way, he immediately forgets. when a multitude of the (3.) In the occupations of day, cares are pressing us on every side, a thousand things escape our notice ; they appear to be neither seen nor heard, nor to affect us in any way whatever. But at the stillness of evening, when anxieties and toils are we seem quieted, and there is a general pause in nature, to be endued with a new sense, and the slightest sound attracts our attention. * Shakspeare has marked even this
" The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark

"When neither

The

When No
It is

is attended ; and, I think, nightingale, if she should smg by day, every goose is cackling, would be thought better a musician than the wren."

on the same principle that people dwelling in the to notice the sound. vicinity of waterfalls do not appear The residents in the neighbourhood even of the great Cataract of Niagara are not seriously disturbed by it, alto all though it is an unbroken, interminable thunder
^

others.

The

reason in

all

these cases

is

the same, as has

There is no attention and no realready been given. of course, virtually no perception. membrance, and, Whenever we read book, we do not observe
*,

104
the

OF ATTEhTION.

which and even the minute parts of these letup, But it is merely a glance ; it does not for any ters. our attention; we immediately length of time occupy with great difficulty persuade ourselves that forget, and we have truly perceived the letters of the word. The fact that every letter is in ordinary cases observed by us, may be proved by leaving out a letter of the word, or by

words merely

as a whole, but every letter of

they are

made

similar form. readily, in substituting others of a detect such omissions or substitutions. reading,
(5.)

We

sum up, almost with a expert accountant can The of the eye, a long column of figures. single glance and yet he operation is performed almost instantaneously, ascertains the sum of the whole with unerring certainty. It is impossible that he should learn the sum without noin the whole column, and without alticing every figure each its proper worth ; but the attention to them

An

lowing was so very

slight, distinct notice.

that

he

is

unable to remember this

Many
that

kind evidently show, as we think, memory depends upon attention, or rather upon a confacts of this

tinuance of attention, and varies with that continuance.


91

Of

exercising attention

reading

If attention, as

we have

seen, be requisite to memory,

we are furnished with a practical rule of consideraThe rule is, Not to give a hasty and ble importance. careless reading of authors, but read them with a suitable If we are asked the degree of deliberation and thought.
then

reason of this direction, we find a good and satisfactory one in the fact referred to at the head of this section, that there cannot be memory without attention, or, rather, that the power of memory will vary with the degree of
attention.

By

yielding to the desire of becoming ac"

of knowlquainted with a greater variety of departments edge than the understanding is able to master, and, as a each of them necessary consequence, by bestowing upon only a very slight attention, we remain essentially ignorant of the whole. who pursues such a course finds him(1.) The person self unable to recall what he has been over ; he has a many half-formed notions floating in his mind, but
great

OF ATTENTION.
these are so
to
ill

105

shaped and so

little

under

his control as

This is one reading authors and of going over sciences in the careless way which has been specified, that the

be but

little

better than actual ignorance.

evil result of

if it can be called knowledge, of very little practical benefit., in consequence of being so poorly digested and so httle under control. (2.) But there is another, and perhaps more serious evil. This

knowledge thus acquired,

is

practice greatly disqualifies one for all intellectual pursuits. To store the mind with new ideas is only a part of education. It is, at least, a matter of equal importance, to impart to all the mental powers a suitable discipline, to exercise those that are strong, to strengthen

among all of them and thorough examination of subjects is a training up of the mind m both these It furnishes it with that species of knowledge respects. which is most valuable, because it is not mixed up with errors and, moreover, gives a strength and consistency
those that are weak, a suitable balance.

and

to

maintain

An

attentive

to the whole structure of the intellect.

Whereas, when the


object,

mind is long

left at liberty to

to the without being called to rules of salutary discipline, it entirely loses, at last, the the subjects of its thoughts, and exability to dwell upon amine them. And, when this power is once lost, there is but little ground to expect any solid attainments.
92. Alleged inability to

wander from object to account and subjected

command

the attention

are aware thaf 'hose who, in accordance with these directions, are required to make a close and thorough examination of subjects, will sometimes complain that they find a great obstacle in their inability to fix their attention. They are not wanting in ability to comprehend ; but find it difficult to retain the mind in one poas to enable them to connect together all the sition so

We

long

estimate their various bearparts of a subject, and duly When this intellectual defect exists, it becomes a ings. new reason for that thorough examination of subjects,

which has been above recommended. It has probably been caused by a neglect of such stiictness of exarm^ from nation, and by a too rapid and careless transition one subject to anothei

106
ATTENTION,
of the mine*
it

OF ATTENTION
will

be recollected, expresses the date

when

whether logger or

for some time, steadily directed of sense or inshorter, to some object


it is

All other objects are tellect, exclusive of other objects. else shut out; and when this exclusion of eveiy thing the attention is said to be insome
continues for
tense.

time,

Now

it is

well

known

that such an exclusive diexist for

rection of the

any long period without being accompanied with a feeling of desire 01 of duty. In the greatest intellectual exertions, not the mere powers of judging, of abstracting, and of reasoning less moveare concerned ; there will also be a greater or And it will be found that no feelment of the
feelings.

mind cannot

confine the minds of ing will effectually but a love of the truth. pursuits,
er a

men

in scientific

Mr. Locke thought that the person who should discovwould do a great remedy for wandering thoughts service to the studious and contemplative part of manWe know of no other effective remedy than the kind. one just mentioned, A LOVE OF THE TRUTH, a desire to know the nature and relations of things, merely for the
sake of knowledge. It is true, that a conviction of duty will do much; ambition and interest may possibly do more; but when the mind is led to deep investigations beautiby these views merely, without finding something ful and attractive in the aspect of knowledge itself, it is The excellence of likely to prove a tiresome process. in the light of knowledge, therefore, considered merely suited to the intellectual nature of man, and as its being the appropriate incentive and reward of intellectual ac" I saw D'Alemto be frequently impressed. tivity, ought " congratulate a young man bert," says a recent writer, who brought him a solution of a problem. very coldly The young man said, c I have done this in order to have
;

a seat in the Academy.' Sir/ answered D'Alembert, Sciwith such dispositions you never will earn one. ence must be loved for its own sake, and not for the adwill enable a vantage to be derived. No other principle "* man to make progress in the sciences !'
* Memoirs of Montlosicr, voi Ethical Philosophy, sert vii
i
>

'

rage 58, as quoted

in

Mackintosh's

DREAMING

107

CHAPTER
DREAMING.
<-iiem $ 93. Definition of dreams and the prevalence of

AJMONG numerous other subjects in mental philosophy which claim their share of attention, tnat of Lreaiaing is entitled to its place ; nor can we be certain tliafc any other will be found more appropriate to it than the present, especially
all its

when we

consider

how

forms with our sensations and conceptions. And what are Dreams ? It approaches, perhaps, sufficiently near to a correct general description to say, that they are our mental states and operations while we are asleep. views which are to be taken in the exBut the
^

closely

it is

connected in

particular

amination of this subject will not


this

fail to

throw light on

The mental states and exercises which go under this name have ever excited much interest. It is undoubtthe attention, which the subject of our edly one reason of dreams has ever elicited among all classes of people, that imit being very difficult, if not they are so prevalent ; to find a person who has not had more or less^of possible, Mr. Locke, however, tells us of an inthis experience. dividual who never dreamed till the twenty-sixth year of to have a fever, and then when he his

general

statement.

dreamed
yet

time. Plutarch also mentions one and Cleon, a friend of his, who lived to an advanced age,
for the
first

age,

happened

had never dreamed once in his life; and remarks that he had heard the same thing reported of Thrasymedes. as we Undoubtedly these persons dreamed very seldom, it is find that some dream much more than others ; but that they may have dreamed at some time and possible So that it cannot with certainty be it.
entirely forgotten are inferred from such instances as these, that there

any

who

are entirely
<J

exempt from dreaming.


is

94, Connexion of dreams with our waking thoughts.

In giving an explanation of dreams, our attention

JOB
first

DREAMING.
arrested

mate

waking thoughts. The great of of our waking experiences appear in the form body and these trains of associated ideas, trains of associations ; or less vain greater or less continuity, and with greater are asleep.- Condorcet (a we riation, continue when name famous in the history of France) told some one,
our relationship with
(hat, while

by

the ch cumstance that they have an inti-

he was engaged in abstruse and profound calhe was frequently obliged to leave them in an culations, the reunfinished state, in order to retire to rest, and that and the conclusion of his calculations have maining steps more than once presented themselves in his dreams. Franklin also has made the remark, that the bearings and much results of political events, which had caused him were not unfrequently unfolded to trouble while awake, him in dreaming. Mr. Coleridge says, that, as he was once reading in the Pilgrimage of Purchas an account of the palace and garden of the Khan Kubla, he fell into a situation composed an entire poem of sleep, and in that not less than two hundred lines, some of which he after-

ward committed to writing. The poem Khan, and begins as follows :


" In Xanadu did Kubla

is

entitled

Kubla

Khan
,

pleasure-dome decree Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea "
stately

It is evident from such statements as these, which are confirmed by the experience of almost every person, that our dreams are fashioned from the materials of the thoughts and feelings which we have while awake ; in other words, be merely the repetition of they will, in a great degree, So well unour customary and prevailing associations.

that President Edwards, who was no less as a mental philosopher than as a theolo distinguished to take particular notice gian, thought it a good practice of his dreams, in order to ascertain from them what his

derstood

is this,

predominant inclinations were*


95

Dreams

are often caused

by our sensations

But while we are to look for tlie materials of our dreams in thoughts which had previously existed, we

DREAMING.
further find that they are not those slight bodily sensations of

109

beyond the influence of which we are susceptible

These sensations, slight as they even in hours of sleep. one set of associations are, are the means of introducing Stewait relates an incident rather than another. Dugald which may be considered an evidence of this, that a per son with whom he was acquainted had occasion, in con* bottle of hot water sequence of an indisposition, to apply a to his feet when he went to bed, and the consequence to the was, that he dreamed he was making a journey of Mount ^Etna, and that he found the heat of the top There was once a gentleground almost insupportable. man in the English army who was so susceptible of audible impressions while he was asleep, that his companions Once, in could make him dream of what they pleased.
process go through particular, they of a duel, from the preliminary airangemei.ts to the firing which they put into his hand for that purof the
pistol,
it exploded, waked him. cause of dreams, closely allied to the above, is the which we experience from the stem* variety of sensations Persons, for instance, who have been ach, viscera, &c. time deprived of food, or have received it only for a

made him

the whole

pose,

and which, when

in small quantities, hardly enough to preserve life, will be dreams in some way or other directly relikely to have Baron Trenck relates^ that, lating to their condition. when confined in his almost dead with

long

hunger being to him the dungeon, his dreams every night presented well-filled and luxurious tables of Berlin, from which, as before him, he imagined he was they were presented " The about to relieve his hunger. night had far advan-

the voyage of Mendez to ced," says Irving, speaking of " but those whose turn it was to take repose Hispaniola, were unable to sleep, from the intensity of their thirst;

or if they slept, it was to be tantalized with dreams of cool fountains and running brooks." The state of health also has considerable influence, not in dreams, but in giving them a particular

only

character.

The remark has been made by medical men, acute diseases, particularly fevers, are ^ often preceded that and indicated by disagreeable and oppressive

producing

110
96

DREAMING
of dreams Explanation of the mcoheiency
(1st cause
)

There is frequently much of wildness, inconsistency, and contradiction in our dreams. The mind passes very to another; strange and singular rapidly from one object If our dreams be truly the repetition of incidents occur. our waking thoughts, it may well be inquired, How this vnldness and inconsistency happen 1

The explanation of

this peculiarity resolves itself into

two parts. The FIRST ground or cause of it is, that our dreams are not subjected, like our waking thoughts, to the control and regulation of surrounding objects. While we are awake, our trains of thought are kept uniform and coherent by the influence of such objects, which continuus of our situation, character, and duties; ally remind and which keep in check any tendency to reveiy. Bui
in sleep the senses are closed

the soul is accordingly, in \ a great measure, excluded from the material world, and influence from is thus deprived of the salutary regulating
that source.
97

<J>

Second cause of the incoherency of

di earns

In the second place, when we are asleep, our associated trains of thought are no longer under the control of the do not mean to say that the operations of the WILL. will are suspended at such times, and that yohtions have no existence. On the contrary, there is sufficient evidence of the continuance of these mental acts, in some degiee at least; since volitions must have made a part of the

We

which are repeated in dreamand furthermore, we are often as conscious of exerforth volitions when dreaming as of any cising or putting other mental acts ; for instance, imagining, remembering,
original trains of thought

ing

assenting, or reasoning.

When we dream

that

we

are

attacked

by an enemy sword

suppose in our dreaming self-defence with an instrument of the dream that we will to exert it for our

in hand, but happen, as we experiences, to be furnished in

same kind,

we

safety and we as truly in this case put against our antagonist ; loith the mental exercise which we term volition, as, in other, we exercise remembrance, or imagine, or reason

own

and

any

our sleep.

DftEAMING

111

by upon some particular part of any general subject which has been suggested, or to transfer it to some other thus to direct and to regulate part of such subject, and But the moment we the whole train of mental action. are soundly asleep, this influence ceases, and hence, in
tion

will continues to act in Admitting, however-, that the which are put it is quite evident that the volitions forth by it have ceased to exercise their customary influence in respect to our mental operations. Ordinarily we means of an act of the will, to fix our attenare able,
sleep,

connexion with the other cause already mentioned,


the wildness, incoherency,

arise

and contradictions which exist A person, while he is awake, has his thoughts under such government, and is able,, by the direct and indirect influence of volitions, so to regulate them as generally to some conclusion, which he forebring them in the end to But in dreaming, as all disees and wishes to arrive at. both internal and exterrecting and governing influence, is at an end, our thoughts and feelings seem to be nal,
driven forward,

much

like a ship at sea without a rudder,

wherever
<

it

may happen.
Apparent
reality of

98

dreams

(1st

cause.;

When

upon them

and combinations and seWe feel the same interries of events appear the same. est and resort to the same expedients as in the perplexiWhen persons are introties and enjoyments of real life. duced as forming a part in the transactions of our dreams, we see them clearly in their living attitudes and stature ; we converse with them, and hear them speak, and behold them move, as if actually present. One reason of this greater vividness of our dreaming in their reality seems to conceptions and of our firm belief The subjects upon which our thoughts are then be this. can form a employed, occupy the mind exclusively. clearer conception of an object with our eyes shut than we can with them open, as any one will be convinced on makino* the experiment ; and the liveliness of the conception will increase in proportion as we can suspend the exerIn sound sleep, not only the cise of the other senses.

objects are presented as real ; and events,

to us in dreams.,

we

look

We

12

DREAMING.

but the other senses also, may be said to be closed ; attention is not continually diverted by the multitude of objects, which arrest the hearing and touch when we are awake. It is, therefore, a most natural supposiat such times be extremetion, that our conceptions must
sight,

and the

ly vivid

momentary But as conceptions exist


in a

At 64 we particularly which we have of absent upon conceptions, or those ideas of perception, which possess this vividness of charobjects And it there appeared that they might be attendacter. belief even when we are awake. ed with a
and
distinct.

remarked

in the

reality;

higher degree the former case a momentary, becomes in the latter a permanent belief. Hence everything has the appearance of and the mere thoughts of the mind are virtual^

much

distinct

mind when we are asleep and vivid, what was in

into persons, ly transformed

and

varieties of situation,

and

in precisely the same events, which are regarded by us and situations, and events of our the persons, light as

every day's experience.


<J

99

Apparent

reality of

dreams

(3d cau&e

second circumstance which goes to account for tne fact that our dreaming conceptions have the appearance of reality is, that they are not susceptible of being controlled, either directly or indirectly,

by mere

volition.

are so formed as almost invariably to associate reality with whatever objects of perception continue to produce hard or soft body, or any subin us the same effects. stance of a always, colour, or taste, or smell,

We

particular

are^

when

followed by certain states presented to our senses, of mind essentially the same; and we yield the most in the existence of such objects. ready and firm belief a word, we are disposed, from our very constitution, to In believe in the existence of objects of perception, the perwhich do not depend on the WILL, but which ceptions of certain states of the mind, we find to be followed

by

whether

we

choose

it

or not.

But

it is

to be recollected

that our dreaming thoughts are mere conceptions ; our senses being closed and shut up, and external objects not But if we conThis is true. being presented to them. clude in favour of the real existence of objects of percep-

DREAMING.

13

tion, because they produce in us sensations independently of our volitions, it is but natural to suppose that we shall believe in the reality of our conceptions also whenever they are in like manner beyond our voluntary control They are both merely states of the mind ; and if belief always attends our perceptions, wherever we find them to be independent of our choice, there is no reason why conceptions, which are ideas of absent objects of perception,, should not be attended with a like belief under the same circumstances. And essentially the same circumstances exist in dreaming ; that is, a train of conceptions arise in the mind, and we are not conscious at such times of being able to exercise any direction or control whatever over them. They exist, whether we will or not ; and

we regard them
100

as real.

Of our estimate

of time in dreaming.

Our estimate of time in dreaming differs from that when awake. Events which would take whole days or a longer time in the performance, are dreamed in a few moSo wonderful is this compression of a multitude ments.
of transactions into the very shortest period, that, when are accidentally awakened by the jarring of a door which is opened into the room where we are sleeping, we sometimes dream of depredations by thieves or destruction " friend of by fire in the very instant of our awaking. " dreamed that he crossed mine," says Dr. Abercrombie, In emthe Atlantic, and spent a fortnight in America. barking on his return, he fell into the sea ; and, having awoke with the fright, discovered that he had not been Count Lavallette, who some asleep above ten minutes."

we

years since

was condemned to death in France, relates a dream which occurred during his imprisonment as fol" One lows. night while I was asleep, the clock of the Palais de Justice struck twelve and awoke me. I heard the
gate open to relieve the sentry ; but I fell asleep again immediately. In this sleep I dreamed that I was standing in the Rue St. Honore, at the corner of the Rue de 1'Echelle. melancholy darkness spread around me ; all was still ; All nevertheless, a low and uncertain sound soon arose. of a sudden, I perceived at the bottom of the street, and

K2

114

DREAMING.

the men and advancing towards me, a troop of cavalry, This horrible troop continuhorses, however, all flayed. ed passing in a rapid gallop, and casting frightful looks

on me. Their march, I thought, continued for five hours; and they were followed by an immense number of artillewhose limbs still quiverry-wagons fall of bleeding corpses, smell of blood and bitumen almost choked ed a
;

disgusting

me.

I made my repeater strike great force, awoke me again. it was no more than midnight, so that the horrible phanmore than two or three minutes ; tasmagoria had lasted no
;

At length,

the iron gate of the prison shutting with

that

and shutting the gate.

time necessary for relieving the sentry The cold was severe and the watchword short. The next day the turnkey confirmed
is

to say, the

my

calculations."

Our dreams will not unfrequently go through all the or of some military exparticulars of some long journey, or of a circumnavigation of the globe, or of othpedition, er long and perilous undertakings, in a less number of
hours than

ence transitions from joy to sorrow and from poverty to and transactions wealth; we are occupied in the scenes of many long months ; and then our slumbers are scatterwatch of ed, and behold, they are the doings of a fleeting
the night
!

in the it took weeks, or months, or even years actual performance of them. go from land to land, and from city to city, and into desert places ; we experi-

We

$ 101

Explanation of the preceding statements.

This striking circumstance in the history of our dreams is generally explained by supposing that our thoughts, as the "mind, are more rapid than they successively occupy while we are awake. But their rapidity is at all times in a few moments, crowds very great ; so much so, that, of ideas pass through the mind which it would take a a far longer time would it take to long time to utter, and This all the transactions which they concern. perform is not satisfactory, for our thoughts explanation, therefore, are oftentimes equally rapid in our waking moments. The true reason, we apprehend, is to be^found in those took under examination the appreceding sections which

DREAMING.

116

He who in his successive actions and successive events. of all the particulars of a long sleep has the conception of the globe, a military expedition or of circumnavigation seems to himself to have actually experienced all the various and multiplied fortunes of the one and the other. Hence what appears to he the real time in dreams, hut is the tune, will not be that which is suffionly
cient for the

Our conceptions in dreaming parent reality of dreams. are considered by us real ; every thought is an action ; states of mind are every idea is as. event ; and successive

apparent mere thought, but that which is necessary

for

the successive actions.

" this may be reSomething perfectly analogous to " in the perceptions we obmarked," says Mr. Stewart, * When I look into a showtain by the sense of sight. box where the deception is imperfect, I see only a set of inches in diameter ; but if the paltry daubings of a few be executed with so much skill as to conrepresentation vey to me the idea of a distant prospect, every object
5

before me swells in its dimensions in proportion to the extent of space which I conceive it to occupy 5 and what seemed before to be shut within the limits of a smaE wooden frame, is magnified in my apprehension to7 an immense landscape of woods, rivers, and mountains/
Stewart's Elements, chapter on Dreaming

MENTAL PHILOSOPHY

DIVISION FIRST.
THE INTELLECT OR UNDERSTANDING.
INTELLECTIVE OR INTELLECTUAL STATES OF THE MIND.

PART SECOND.
INTELLECTUAL STATES OF INTERNAL ORIGIN.

CHAPTER

I.

INTERNAL OPJGIN OF KNOWLEDGE102

The

soul has fountains of knowledge within

"WE have traced the history of the mind thus far with continued and increased satisfaction, because we hare been guided solely by well-known facts, without any desire of exciting wonder by exaggeration, and with no With cauother feeling than that of knowing the truth. tious endeavours not to trespass upon those limits which the Creator himself has set to our inquiries, we have seen the mind placed in the position of a necessary connexion with the material woild through the medium of the
^

senses,

and

in this

way awakened

into

life, activity,

and

to have been designed power. Inanimate matter seems and appointed by Providence as the handmaid and nurse

of the mind in the days of its infancy ; and for that purwith iorm, fragrance, and pose to have been endued Material eyes were given to the soul, (not made colour. a part of its nature, but assigned to it as an instrumental
;

and auxiliary agent,) that it might see; and material and hearing, that it might hands, that it might handle hear. By means of these and other senses we become and has acquainted with whatever is visible and tangible, outline and form ; but there are also inward powers of of knowledge, which open perception, hidden fountains themselves and flow up in the remote and secret places In other words, the soul finds knowledge in of the soul. itself which neither sight, nor touch, nor hearing, nor any

considered the sensations begun with the senses, and first and ideas which we there receive, we are next to enter more exclusively into the mind itself, and to explore the And fruitful sources of knowledge which are internal.
in

thus doing,

it is

a satisfaction to

know

that

we

are

120

INTERNAL ORIGIN OF KNOWLEDGE,

in the steps of Mr. Locke, whose treading essentially that a part of our ideas general doctrine undoubtedly is, be traced to the senses, and that the origin of only may itself. others is to be wholly in the intellect

sought

103

Declaiation of Locke, that the sou] has knowledge in

itself

After alluding to the senses as one great source of " from " the other fountain/' says Locke, knowledge, which experience furnisheth the understanding with ideas, the operations of our own minds is the perception of as it is employed about the ideas it has got ; within us, which operations, when the soul comes to reflect on and with another set consider, do furnish the understanding of ideas, which could not be had from things without, and

such are perception, thinking, doubting believing, reasonand all the different actings of pur ing, knowing, willing, own minds, which, we being conscious of, and observing in ourselves, do from these receive into pur understanddistinct as we do from bodies affecting our ings ideas as This source of ideas every man has wholly withsenses. And though it be not sense, as having noin himself. to do with EXTERNAL objects, yet it is very like it, thing and might properly enough be called INTERNAL SENSE.

But

as I call the other Sensation, so I call this Reflection


it

the ideas
reflecting

affords being such only as the


its

mind gets by

on
104

own

operations within itself."


of knowledge
is in

The beginning

the senses.

In order to have a clear undei standing of the particubefore us, let us briefly advert to certain general views, already more or less attended to, having a connexion with it. In making the human soul a subject of
lar topic

inquiry,

it is

an obvious consideration that a distinction


the soul contemplated in
itself,

may be drawn between


and
es.
its

acts or states, or the

The

inquiry, therefore,

knowledge which it pos&cassnaturally arises, Under what

circumstances the acquisition of knowledge begins ? Now this is the very question which has already been considered; nor can it be deemed necessary to repeal here the considerations which have been brought up in It is enough to express our continued rereference to it.

ORIGIN OF

KNOWLEDGE

ance on the general experience and testimony of man to ascertain them on a subject is possible kind, so far as it that the beginnings of thought and of so' much
difficulty,

to certain affecknowledge are immediately subsequent which we call the SENSES. In tions of those bodily organs other words, were it not for impressions on the senses, which may be traced to objects external to them, our mental capabilities, whatever they may be, would in all hare remained folded up, and have never probability redeemed from a state of fruitless inaction. Hence been the process which is implied in the perception of external termed by Mr. Locke sensathinoTS, or what is commonly the OCCASION or the introtion? may justly be considered to all our knowledge. luctory step
105

There may

also

be internal accessions to knowledge.

But
one,

does not follow from this, nor is it by^any means in its ultimate that the whole amount of knowledge
it

to an external source. progress is to be ascribed directly said with truth is, that the mind receives All that can be of the senses, and che earliest part of its ideas by means of having received these elementary in

chat,
tive.

consequence
all its

thoughts,

and powers become rapidly

And

here

of the mind being thus fairly knowledge. into exercise, its various operations then furnish brought of distinus with another set of notions, which, by way them from those received through the direct guishing mediation of the senses, may be called, in the language use a phraseology of Mr. Locke, ideas of reflection, or, to ORIGIN. all possible cases, ideas of INTERNAL embracing and These two sources of human thought, the Internal however they may have been confounded by External,

we come The powers

fully operato the SECOND great source of

some writers, are

in the mind, of certain mental operations, could not

have been sugwhich takes place in the external gested by anything Of this last world independently of those operations. with illustrations of the same, may class, some instances,
mentioned here. properly be

The ideas which arise entirely distinct from the fact of the previous existence solely

1522

INTERNAL ORIGIN OF KNOWLELGE.


106
Instances of notions which have an internal origin

Among other notions which are to "be ascribed to the second great source, are those expressed by the terms It is 3 THINKING, DOUBTING, BELIEVING, and CERTAINTY. matter of internal observation, (that is, of consciousness
or of reflection, which are synonymous with internal oband cannot, for any servation,) that the mind does not, Hence there is occasion of time, remain inactive. length idea which we denominate given for the origin of that The notion which we thus denominate is fraTHINKING. the mind under these circumstances ; the name is med

by
(

given, jand

then
it is

it is

to

nobody is ignorant as to what is meant But be remarked that its origin is wholly internal ;

tivity,

not an object of touch, or taste, or sight; it is to be ascribed to the mind itself alone, and to its inherent acunaided by the senses, or by anything operating

upon them.

some topic which is proAgain, in the examination of is stated with little 01 posed for discussion, a proposition no evidence attending it, and the mind, in reference to that proposition, is brought into a position to which we It is by no means easy, or give the name of doubting.
rather
senses.
it

is

All

within, and certain other mental states of

impossible, to trace this idea directly to the we can say of it is, that it has its origin necessarily exists immediately subsequent to

which

we

are conscious.

But then,

in *his very instance, if the evidence

be con-

siderably increased, the mental estimation which we form is altered in regard to it, and to this new state of the mind we give the name of belief or 'believing. And in case the evidence of the proposition is of a higher and more deci ded character, there then arises another state of the mind

which

we

denominate

certainty.

107

Other instances of ideas which have an internal origin

The

ideas of right

and wron<*, of unity and number,

ci

lime and space, order, proportion, similitude, truth, wisdom, power, obligation, succession, cause, effect, anc many others, have a like origin ; at least there are none of them to be ascribed directly and exclusively to the
senses,
It is cheerfully

granted that, in determining

thi*

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.
point,
it

123
experience of

is

proper to refer to the


to rely

common

But it is believed in all these instances, (certainly in the most of them,) such a reference will be amply decisive. Let it then be left to the candid internal examination of each individual to determine, Whether a distinction be not rightly drawn between the origin of Ihese ideas and that of those which we attribute to the senses, such

mankind, and

upon

it.

as red, blue, sweet, fragrant, bitter, hard, smooth, loud,


? On this question it is thought that, can be but one answer, although some writers, through the love of excessive simplification, have been betrayed into error in regard to it. Hence it is distinctly to be kept in mind, that there are two sources of thought and knowledge. An affection of the senses by means of external objects is the immediate occasion of one portion ; the constitution of the mind and
soft,

extended, &c.

in general, there

its

operations are the occasions or source of the other.


directly to

Those notions which can be ascribed

any one

of the senses as their specific source, and not merely as an indirect and general occasion of their origin, are External, while all others Internal.

seem

to

be

entitled to

be

called

CHAPTER

II

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION
108

Impoit of suggestion, and

its

application in

Reid and Stewart.

SOME of the cases of thought and knowledge which the mind becomes possessed of in itself, without the direct This aid of the senses, are to be ascribed to Suggestion.
word, in its application here, is used merely to express a the mind, by its own simple but important fact, viz., that and vigour, gives rise to certain thoughts. Withactivity out any mixture of hypothesis, or any qualifying intima

The use tion whatever, it gives the fact, and that is all. of this word, as applicable to the origin of a portion oi

human knowledge,

is

distinctly

proposed by Dr. Reid

124

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.

In his Inquiry into the Human Mind, (ch. ii., vii,,) he of existence, speaks of certain notions (for instance, those as the. "judgments of nature, judgmind, person, &c.) ments not got by comparing ideas, and perceiving agreements and disagreements, but immediately inspired by our constitution." Pursuing this train of thought, he ascribes those notions which cannot be attributed directly to the senses on the one hand, nor to the reasoning power on the other, to an internal or mental Suggestion, as fol"I Jows. beg leave to make use of the word SUGGESTION, because I know not one more proper, to express a power of the mind which seems entirely to have escaped the notice of philosophers, arid to which we owe many of our
simple notions."

Mr* Stewart also, in his Philosophical Essays, speaks of certain mental phenomena as attendant upon the obof our consciousness, and as SUGGESTED by them. jects The notions of time, number, motion, memory, sameness,
ascribes neipersonal identity, present existence, &c., he ther to the external world on the one hand, nor the internal mental operations, of which we are conscious, on

which the mind brings them


\ls

the other; except so far as they are the occasions on out, or SUGGESTS them from

own

inherent energy.

Of the notion of DURATION,


I

for

do not see it, nor hear it, nor feel it, nor become acquainted with it by means of any oiher of the senses; nor am I conscious of it, as I am of believing, reasoning, imagining, &c., but it is SUGGESTED by the mind itself; it is an intimation absolutely essential to the mind's nature and action.
instance,
<)

he would say,

109. Ideas of existence, mind, self-existence, and personal identity

We shall now mention a

few ideas which have

this ori-

to give a complete enumeration gin, without undertaking of them. (I.) EXISTENCE* Among the various notions, the origin of which naturally requires to be considered

under the head of Suggestion,


existence
is

is

that of Existence.

What
name The

in itself, (that

is

any existent being,) it would the word as expressive of a mental state, it is the of a purely simple idea, and cannot be defined.

to say, independently of be useless to inquire. Using

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.
its rise history of

125

Such is oar nature that is briefly this. without having the notion of existence. So that the origin of the idea of existence is inseparable from the mere fact, that we have a percipient and senAn insentient being may exist without havtient nature. But man, being constituted with ing any such idea. of perception, cannot help perceiving ^that he is powers what he is. If we think, then there is something which has this capability of thought ; if we feel, then there is not only the mere act of feeling, but something also which puts forth the act. MIND. The origin of the notion of Mind is am (II.) Neither of them can be strictilar to that of existence. do not see referred to the senses. ly and properly the mind, nor is it an object of touch, or of taste, or of is the notion any other sense. Nor, on the other hand, of mind a direct object of the memory, or of reasoning,

we

cannot

exist,

We

SUGGESTED from the mere fact that the mind actually exists,
-

or of imagination.

The

notion arises naturally, or

is

and

is

susceptible of various feelings

and operations.

The same may be said of all the distinct powers of the mind, such as the power of perception, of memory of of the ads association, of imagination, of the will ; not
or exercises of these powers, it will be noticed, but of That is to say, they are n>ade the powers themselves. known to us, considered abstractly and as distinct subjects of thought, not by direct perception, either inward or say, not outward, but by spontaneity or suggestion. direct perception, because there is something intermeb} diate between the power and the knowledge of it, viz., the act or exercise of the power, which is the occasion of of the power itself. The principle of the

We

knowledge

itself of this occasion, gives Original Suggestion, availing us a knowledge of the distinct susceptibilities of the mind, just as it does of the mind as a whole.
^

as far as spontaneity is con (SI.} Similar remarks, we considei cerned, will apply to the notions (whether them as simple or complex) of SELF-EXISTENCE and PERAt the very earliest period they flow SONAL IDENTITY.
out, as it

were, from the mind itself; not resulting from but freely and spon any prolonged and laborious process,

126

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.
it.

true, taneously suggested by able to designate either the precise time or the precise circumstances under which they originate ; for they spring cannot look, or into being under all circumstances. or breathe, or move, or think without them. touch, These are products of our mental nature too essential and or to be given only on rare important to be withheld, and doubtful occasions ; but are brought into existence in and under all the varieties of action all times and

This

is

so

that no one

is

We

places,

and

feeling.
the origin of that notion $ 110. Of the nature of unity, and

Another important notion, properly entitled to a conshall decline atsideration here, is that of UNITY. the nature of unity, for the simple tempting to explain

We

reason that nothing


child

is more easy to be understood every knows what is meant by One. And how can we ? We can explain a hundred by explain it, if we would
;

resolving

into parts ; we can explain fifty or a score a like separation of the whole number into by making the subordinate portions of which it is made up ; but
it

when we
further.

arrive at unity,

we must

stop,

and can go no

Is it

from everything of an obanything more than to say that the unity is its indivisibility 1 Or, in other words, that its unity ject
As

it ; but, attempts have been made to define other such attempts, they have proved futile. many indivisible in itself, and diUnity has been called a thing else. But this makes us no wiser. vided

It is true,

like

unity 1 the idea of unity is one of the simplest, so it is one of the earliest notions which men have. It originates in the same way, and very nearly at the same time, with the
is its

notions of existence, self-existence, personal identity, and When a man has a notion of himself, he evithe like. dently does not think of himself as two, three, or a dozen men, but as one. As soon as he is able to think of him-

from his neighbour., as soon as he is in no danger of mingling and confounding his own identity with that of the multitude around him, so soon does he It exists as distinct in his form the notion of unity.
self 9 as distinct

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.

127

as the idea of his own existence does; and arises there immediately successive to that idea, "because it is in the nature of things, that he should have a impossible, notion of himself as a twofold or divided person.

mind

Unity

By

These numbers may be to form numbers to any extent. combined among themselves, and employed merely as or we may apply them, if expressive of mutual relations, \\e choose, to all external objects whatever, to which we are able to give a common name.
111. Nature of succession, and origin of the idea of succession

is the fundamental element of all enumeration. the repetition or adding of this element,, we are able

Another of those conceptions which naturally


^

offer

themselves to our notice here, is that of SUCCESSION* This term (when we inquire what succession is in itself) is one of general application, expressive of a mode of existence rather than of existence itself^ and in its application to mind in particular, expressive of & condition

of the mind's action, but not of the action itself, which It is certainly a fact too well that condition regulates. known to require comment, that our minds exist at different periods in successive states ; that our thoughts and in obedience to a permanent law, follow each feelings, This is the simple fact. And the fact other in a train. of such succession, whenever it takes place, forms the occasion on which the notion or idea of succession is SUG-

GESTED to the mind. Being a simple mental state, it js not susceptible of definition; yet every man possesses it, and every one is rightly supposed to understand its nature.
. .

to refer the origin of Accordingly, it is not necessary It is certain, that the this idea to anything external. sense of smell cannot directly give us the idea of succesAnd we well of taste, nor of touch. sion, nor the sense know that the deaf and dumb possess it not less than The blind also, who have never seen the face of others.

moon which measure heaven, nor beheld that sun and us days, and months, and years, have the notion out for at of succession. They feel, they think, they reason, small degree, like other men; and it is in> least in some

128

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.

The origin, possible thai they should be without it. therefore, of this notion is within ; it is the unfailing result of the inward operation to call it forth, however true
it

may

jects

and

be, that it events.


112

is

subsequently applied to outward ob-

Ongm

of the notion of duration.

There

is

usually understood to be a distinction between

the idea of succession and that of duration, though neither can be defined. The idea of succession is suppo-

sed to be antecedent in point of time to that of duration (we speak now of succession and duration relatively to our conception of them, and not in themselves considerDuration must be supposed to exist antecedently to ed.) succession in the order of nature ; but succession is the form in which it is made to apply to men ; and is, therefore, naturally the occasion on which the idea of it arises in men's minds. Having the notion of succession, and that of personal or self-existence, a foundation is laid for
the additional conception ef permanency or duration ; in other words, it naturally arises in the mind, or is suggested under these circumstances.

As we cannot, according to this view of its origin, have the notion of duration without succession, hence it happens that we know nothing of duration when we are
perfectly asleep, because we of those intellectual changes

are not then

conscious

which are involved in

If a person could sleep with a succession. perfect suspension of all his mental operations from this time until the resurrection, the whole of that period would appear to him as nothing. Ten thousand years passed under such circumstances would be less than a few days, or

even hours.
113
Illustrations of the natuie of duration

That the notion of succession (we do not say succesbut only our notion or idea of it) is antecedent to that of duration, is in some measure proved by various facts. There are on record a number of cases of remarkable somnolency, in which persons have slept foi weeks and even months. One of the most
sion
to,
itself,

and

is essential

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.
striking

129

is that of Samuel Chilton, a labourer of TinsOn one occasion, in the near Bath in England. bury, year 1696, he slept from the ninth of April to the seventh of August, about seventeen weeks, being kept alive by small quantities of wine poured down his throat. He then awoke, dressed himself, and walked about the room, " being perfectly unconscious that he had slept more than one night. Nothing, indeed, could make him believe that he had slept so long, till, upon going to the fields, he saw crops of barley and oats ready for the sickle, which he remembered were only sown when he last visited them." In the proceedings of the French Royal Academy of Sciences in 1719, there is also a statement, illustrative of the subject under consideration, to the following effect There was in Lausanne a nobleman, who, as he

was giving orders


and
all his senses.

to

a servant, suddenly lost his speech Different remedies were tried, but, for

a very considerable tune, without effect. For six months he appeared to be in a deep sleep, unconscious of everyAt the end of that period, however, resort having thing. been had to certain surgical operations, he was suddenly restored to his speech and the exercise of his understandWhen he recovered, the servant to whom he had ing. been giving orders happening to be in the room, he asked him if he had done what he had ordered him to do, not being sensible that any interval, except perhaps a

very short one, had elapsed during his


114

illness.

Of

time and

its

measurements, and of

eternity.

duration is estimated or measured, then we call Such measurements, as every one is aware, are it Time. made by means of certain natural or artificial motions. The annual revolution of the sun (using language in accordance with the common apprehensions on the subject)

When

marks

off the portion of duration which we call a YEAR ; the revolution of the moon marks off another portion, which we call a MONTH ; the diurnal revolution of the sun gives us the period of a DAY ; the movements of the hands over the face of a clock or watch give the diminThis is TIME, which ished durations of hours and minutes. differs from duration only in the circumstance of its being

ineafwed.

ISO

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.
call Eternity
is

only a modified or imperfect look back over the months, and days, and years of our former existence ; we look forward and onward, and behold ages crowding on ages, and time springing from time. And in this way we are forcibly led to think of time unfinished, of time
time, or, rather, time not completed.

What we

We

progressive but notion we give the

never completed ; and to this complex name of Eternity.


idea of space not of external origin

$115 The

Another of those notions, the origin of which we proof Suggestion, is the idea pose to consider under the head of SPACE. If this idea were of external origin, if it could into the mind by the way of senproperly be said to come it, sation, we should be able to make such a reference of

But

It will evidently not be pretended let us inquire. that the notion of space is to be ascribed to the senses of And can it be ascribed to taste, of smeU, or of hearing. sinIs it a matter of feeling 7 the sense of touch ? li consideration will suggest a satisfactory answer, gle will ceitainlybe acknowledged, that we can have no

knowledge, by the sense of touch, (with the single excepcold which tion, perhaps, of the sensations of heat and are commonly ascribed to it,) of anytliing which does
not present some resistance. The degree of resistance But greatly vary, but there will always be some. no one will undertake to say that resistance is a quality of space, or enters in any way into his notion of it. Nor are there less obvious objections to regarding it as a direct object of sight. The sense of sight gives us no direct knowledge of anything but colours ; all other visual perceptions are original in the sense of touch, and are made the property of the sight by transference. No one certainly ever speaks of space as red or white, or of any other colour, or conceives of it as such. There is another consideration, adverse to ascribing the idea of space to the senses, applicable equally to the sight and the touch. Everything corning within the cognizance of those two senses, (with the exception alieady But the alluded to,) has form, limits, bounds,, place, &c. idea to which we are now attending is utterly exclusive

may

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.

131

at everything of this nature; it is not susceptible of cirSo far from it, when we escape cumscription and figure. the succession of circumscribed and insulated obbeyond we have but just entered within its empire. If we jects, let the mind range forth beyond the forms immediately surrounding us, beyond the world itself., beyond all the systems of worlds in the universe ; if we stand in our conception on the verge of the remotest star, and look downward and upward, it is then the idea of space rushes upon the mind with a power before unknown. These considerations clearly lead to the conclusion, that the notion of space is not susceptible of being ascribed directly to sensation in any of its forms, and is not, in the proper

sense of the terms, of external origin.


116

The

idea of space has

its

origin in suggestion

What, then, shall we say of the origin of the notion ot spaced When pressed on this point we have but one answer to give it is the natural offspring of the mind 5
;

it is

a creation of the soul, wholly inseparable from

its el-

ementary constitution and action ; an intimation coming from an interior and original impulse. It remains to be added, that, while we cannot directly refer the notion in
question to the senses, but must ascribe
its

origin to the

cannot even state "with certainty suggestive principle, any particular occasion on which it arises, for we have the notion at a period further back than we can remember.

we

On this point, however, it is undoubtedly true, may advance opinions more or less probable.

that
It
is,

we
for

moinstance, a supposition not altogether worthless, that tion may have been the original occasion of the rise of At an early period we moved the hand, either this idea. removed at a little distance, or in the to
mere playful exercise of the muscles, or perhaps we transand ferred the whole body from one position to another it is at least no impossibility, that on such an occasion the idea of space may have been called forth in the soul. But there is another supposition still more entitled to Our acquaintance with external bodies, by means notice. of the senses, may have been the occasion of its rise, al;

grasp something

though the senses themselves are not

its

direct source.

It

132
is

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.

cannot contemplate any body whatever, a house, without always finding the idea of space a ready and necessary concomitant So cannot conceive of a body which is nowhere. of the idea of at least date the that we
certain that

we

an apple, a

rose, a tree,

We

with any external body space as early as our acquaintance In other words, it is a gift of the mind, made whatever. external perceptions. simultaneously with its earliest
117

may

origin

Of

the origin of the idea of power.

Under the head of Suggestion the idea of POWER propone Every man has this notion ; every erly belongs. in other feels, too, that there is a corresponding reality ; of thought, but words, power is not only a mere subject And we existence. has, in some important sense, a real that every one knows, although^ there is somemay add, where a great original fountain of power, independent of all created beings, that he has a portion (small indeed it in may be, but yet a portion) of the element of power There is indeed a his own mind and in his own person. and invisible^ which has reared the
Power, unexplored mountains, which rolls the ocean, and which propels the sun in his course ; but it is nevertheless true, that man, humble as he is in the scale of rational and accountable as an attribute of his own nature, an beings, possesses, amount of real efficiency, suited to the limited sphere which Providence has allotted him. This is a simple
fact.

statement of the

Power goes hand


and

in

existence, intelligence, accountability. existence, either intelligent or unintelligent, without power, either in the thing itself, or in something else which There is no accountable existence without sustains it

There

hand with is no

power, existing in and participating

in such existence,

and

of constituting the basis


$
1

its

accountability.

IS

Occasions of the origin of the idea of power

But the principal question here is, not what power is in itself, nor whether man possesses power in fact, but under what circumstances the notion or idea of power
arises in the

human mind. The occasions of the origin of this idea, so far as we are able to judge, appear to be

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.

133

threefold (L) All cases of antecedence and sequence are so constituted, that, in in the natural world.

We

connexion with such cases of antecedence and sequence, we are led at a very early period of life to frame the proposition and to receive it as an undeniable truth, that there can be no beginning or change of existence without a cause. This proposition involves the idea of efficiency or power. (2.) The control of the will over the muscuare so constituted, that, whenever we will lar action. to put a part of the body in motion, and the motion follows the volition, we have the idea of power. (3.) The control of the will over the other mental powers. Within

We

and to a certain extent, there seems to be supposing that the will is capable of exercising a directing control over the mental as well as over the And whenever we are conscious of such bodily powers.
certain limits
for

ground

control being exercised, whether it be greater or less, ocIt is then casion is furnished for the origin of this idea. It is not seen by the material called forth or SUGGESTED.
eye, nor reached
itself

from the mind,


it

firmament,

but, emerging of a star from the depths of the reveals itself distinctly and brightly to the

by the sense of touch ;


like

intellectual vision.
119

Of

the ideas of right and wrong.

derstanding virtue of its the senses.

of the Understanding operating in own interior nature, and not as dependent on are constituted intellectually in such a manner, that, whenever occasions of actual right or wrong occur, whenever objects fitted to excite a moral approval or disapprova. are presented to our notice, the ideas of RIGHT and WRONG naturally and necessarily arise within In respect to these ideas or intellections, (if we us.
;

Right and Wrong


that

also are conceptions of the pure

Un-

is,

We

choose to employ an expressive term partially fallen into and other writers of disuse,) Cudworth, Stewart, Cousin, acknowledged discernment and weight, appear to agree And this arrangein placing the origin of them here. ment of them is understood to be important in connexion with the theory of Morals. If these ideas originate in the

pure

intellect,

and are simple, as they obviously

are, thet>

[34

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION.

each of tliem necessarily has its distinctive nature, each of them is an entity by itself; and it is impossible to conceive of them as identical or interchangeable with each of other. They are as truly unlike as our conceptions and time, or of space and powcr.^ And if this is unity true of our ideas of right and wiong, it is not less so of In other words, right can themselves. and
right

wrong

never become wrong, nor wrong right ; they are placed for ever apart, each occupying its own sphere ; and thus we have a foundation laid for the important doctrine of " The distinction the immutability of moral distinctions.

between right and wrong," says Cousin, (Psychology,


ch. v.,)

"

maybe

incorrectly applied,
to

may

vary in legard

to particular objects,
thino* at

and may become


It is

clearer

and more

conect in time, without ceasing


the bottom.

be with

all

men

the

a universal conception same of ReasoiT, and hence it is found in all languages, those Not only is of the mind. products and faithful images
this distinction universal, but it is a necessary conception. In vain does the reason, after having once received, at-

tempt
unjust.

to

One cannot

at will regard the same action as just and These two ideas baffle every attempt to commute

deny

it,

or call in question

its

truth.

It

cannot.

them, the one for the other. but never their nature."
$

Their objects

may

change,

120

and demerit. Origin of the ideas of mozal merit

of right and wrong Closely connected with the ideas In the order are the ideas of moral MERIT and DEMERIT. of nature, (what is sometimes called the logical order,)

Without posthe ideas of right and wrong come first the antecedent notions of right and wrong, it sessing would be impossible for us to frame the ideas of moral
merit

and demerit. For what merit can we possibly attach to him in whom we discover no rectitude 1 or what demerit in him in whom we discover no want of it? Merit always implies virtue as its antecedent and necessary condition, while demerit as certainly implies the want of it, or vice. Although the ideas of merit and demerit, in consequence of being simple, are undefinable, can be n$ doubt of their existence, and of their

ORIGINAL SUGGESTION,

135

being entirely clear to our mental perception ; and that they furnish a well-founded and satisfactory basis for many of our judgments in respect to the moral character and conduct of mankind.
121

Of

other elements of

knowledge developed

in suggestioi.

In giving an account of the ideas from this source, we have preferred as designative of their origin the term SUGGESTION, proposed and employed hy Reid and Stewait, to the word REASON, pioposed by Kant, and adopted by Cousin and some other writers, as, on the whole, more conformable to the prevalent usage of the English language. In common parlance, and by the established usage of the language, the -word REASON is expressive of the deductive rather than of the suggestive faculty ; and if we annul or perplex the present use of that word by a novel application of it, we must introduce a new word to Whether we are corexpress the process of deduction.
rect in this or not, we shall probably fin-1 no disagreement or opposition in asserting, not only the existence, but the importance of the intellectual capability

great

have been considering. The thing, and the nature of the thing, is undoubtedly of more consequence than the mere name. In leaving this interesting topic, we would not be understood to intimate that the notions of existence, mind,

which

we

personal identity, unity, succession, duration, power, and the others which have been mentioned, are all which a Suggestion furnishes. It might not be easy to make complete enumeration y but, in giving an account of the

we may probably ascribe genesis of human knowledge, the ideas of truth, freedom, design or intelligence, necesor congruity, reality, order, plurality, totality, sity, fitness
immensity, possibility, infinity, happiness, reward, punishment, and perhaps many others, to this source.
122. Suggestion a souice of principles as well as of ideas.

One more remark remains


is

to

be made.

Original Sug-

ples.

not only the source of ideas, (and particularly gestion of ideas fundamental and unalterable,) but also of princiThe reasoning faculty, which in its nature is essen-

136

CONSCIOUSNESS.

and deductive, must have something to tally comparative of itself, and of still higher authority than rest upon back with which, as a first link in the chain, the process
itself,

of deduction begins.
is

It is the suggestive intellect the basis of the action of the comparative and deducOf those elementary or transcendental tive intellect. which are generally acknowledged to be piopositions and conditions of the exercise of the deducprerequisites there are some particularly worthy of notice, tive faculty, such as the following. There is no beginning or change of existence without a cause. Matter and mind have uniform and permanent laws. Every quality supposes a of which it is a quality. Means, subject, a real existence, to produce a certain end, imply intelconspiring together

which

ligence.

CHAPTER

IH.

CONSCIOUSNESS.
$ 133

Consciousness the 3d source of internal knowledge

its

nature

source of that knowledge which, in distinction from sensations and external perceptions, is denominated Internal, is CONSCIOUSNESS. By the common

THE second

or method in which we obtain priated to express the way the knowledge of those objects which belong to the mind itself, and which do not, and cannot exist inde-

the term Consciousness usage of the language,

is

appro-

Imagining and reasoning are pendently of some mind. terms expressive of real objects of thought but evidentcannot be supposed to exist, independently of Ij they
,*

some mind which imagines and reasons. Hence every instance of consciousness may be regarded as embracing
in itself

the three following distinct notions at least

viz.,

The idea of self or of personal existence, which we but by suggestion, possess, not by direct consciousness, expressed in English by the words SELF, MYSELF, and the Some quality, state, or operaI personal pronoun ; (2.)
(1.)
tion
-*f

the mind, whatever

it

may be

and

(3.)

A relative

CONSCIOUSNESS.

137
to.

For instance, a person says, I AM CONSCIOUS OF LOVE, OR Here the idea of SELF, or of OF ANGER, OR OF PENITENCE. I ; there existence, is expressed by the pronoun personal different mental state, and expressed by its appropriis a
ate term, that of the affection of ANGER, &c. ; the phrase., CONSCIOUS OF, expresses the feeling of relation, which in-

perception

of possession, appropriation, or belonging

the passion of stantaneously and necessarily recognises as the attribute or property of the subject of the anger And in this case, as in all others where we proposition. the term under consideration, consciousness does apply not properly extend to anything which has an existence extraneous to the conscious object or soul itself.
124
Further remarks on the proper objects of consciousness

As there are some things to which Consciousness,^ as the term is usually employed, relates, and others to which it does not, it is proper to consider it in this respect more those thoughts which may have arisen, (1.) As to fully. have agitated us in times or those emotions which

may

past,

cannot with propriety be said to be conscious of them at the present moment, although we may be conscious of that present state of mind which we term the Consciousness has no recollection of them. (2.) Again, direct connexion with such objects, whether material or external immaterial, as exist at the present time, but

we

^are

to the mind, or, in other words,

have an existence inde-

pendent of

it.

we are not, strictly speaking, conscious of any material existence whatever ; of the earth which we tread, of the food which nourishes us, of the clothes that protect, or of anything else of the like nature with which we are conversant ; but are conscious merely of the effects they produce within us, of the sensations of of heat and cold, of resistance and extension, of
For
instance,
taste,

hardness and softness, and the like. view holds also in respect to immaterial (3.) This are not directly coneven the mind itself. things, which has been exscious, using the term in the manner of the existence even of our own mind, but plained, firm merely of its qualities and operations, and of that

We

138
belief or

CONSCIOUSNESS,
its

knowledge of ant on those operations.


125

existence, necessarily attend-

Conseiousnefas a ground 01 law of belief.

Consciousness, it may be remarked here, is to be regarded as a ground or law of belief; and the belief attendant on the exercise of it, like that which accompakind.
nies the exercise of Original Suggestion, is of the highest It appears to be utterly out of our power to avoid

believing, beyond a doubt, that the mind experiences certain sensations, or has certain thoughts, or puts forth particular intellectual operations, whenever, in point of fact,

that

is

the case.

belief,

but

We may be asked for the reason of this we have none to give, except that it is the re-

sult of

ture

tions

an ultimate and controlling principle of our naand hence that nothing can ever prevent the convicresulting from this source, and nothing can divest
history of the

us of them.

Nor has the

human mind made known

any instances that have even the appearance of being at variance with this view, except a few cases of undoubted
reason against Consciousness as a the sake of amusing himself or perplexing others , but when he not only reasons against it as such, but seriously and sincerely rejects it, it becomes quite another concern ; and such a one has, by common consent, broken loose from the authority of
insanity.

A man

may

ground and law of

belief, either for

and is truly and emphatically beside himself. be impossible to find a resting-place where such a mind can fix itself and repose ; the best established truths, and the wildest and most extravagant notions, will stand nearly an equal chance of being either rejected or received ; fancy and fact will be confounded and mingled together, and the whole mind will exhibit a scene of
his nature,
It will

chaotic and irretrievable confusion.


126 Instances of knowledge developed in consciousness.

states of mind, the ideas,


v,f

would be no easy task to point out the numerous and emotions, and desires, and volitions, which come within the range and cognizance
It

Consciousness

nor is there any special reason, connect-

CONSCIOUSNESS.

139

ed with any objecc we have in view at present, why such a full enumeration should be attempted. A few instances
will suffice to show how fruitful a source of experience and of knowledge this is.
(I.)

All the various degrees of belief are matters of

Consciousness.
cessarily yields

We

are so constituted that the

mind ne

assent in a greater or less degree when evidence is presented. These degrees of assent are exits

a few of ceedingly various and multiplied, although only them are expressed by select and appropriate names ; noi does it appear to be necessary for the ends of society, or Some for any other purpose, that it should be otherwise. of them are as follows : doubting, assenting, presumption,

&c. believing, disbelieving, probability, certainty, The names of all other intellectual acts and opei(II.) ations (not the names of the intellectual Powers, which,
like the

mind itself, are made known to us by Suggestion, and are expressed by a different class of teims, but simof the subjects ply of acts and operations) are expiessive
of our Consciousness.

Among

others, the terms perceiv-

coming, thinking, attending, conceiving, remembering, paring, judging, abstracting, reason 'ng, imagining. Consciousness, considered as a source of knowl(ffl.)

edge, includes

in fact, which really (everything, in the range of the SENSITIVE or

emotions and desires, directly comes withSENTIENT part of our nathe grand, the subture,) as the emotions of the beautiful, lime, the ludicrous ; the feelings of pleasure, and pain, and aversion, of hope and joy, of despondency and sadlikewise all our

and

and a multitude of others. our acquaintance with the (IV.) Here also originates benefit complex emotions or passions. A man bestows a and we are conscious of a new complex feeling upon us, which we call GRA.TITUDE. Another person does us an inof another and distinct feeling, jury and we are conscious which we call ANGER. In other words, "we feel, we know that the passion exists, and that it belongs to ourselves and it is the same of jealousy, hatred, revenge, friendship, &c. sympathy, the filial and parental affections, love, Ail the moral and religious emotions and affecness,
;
:

(V.)

tions,

regarded as subjects of internal knowledge, belong

140

RELAHVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT,

here ; such as approval, disapproval, remorse, humility benevolence, the V repentance, religious faith, forgiveness, When we consider that sense of dependence, adoration, the mind is constantly in action ; that, in all our intercourse with our fellow-beings, friends, family, countrymen, and are enemies, new and exceedingly diversified feelings that every new scene in nature, and every called forth; new combination of events, have their appropriate ^results in the mind, it will be readily conjectured that this enumeration might be carried to a much greater extent. What has been said will serve to indicate some of the

on prominent sources for self-inquiry

this subject.

CHAPTER
$

IV.

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT.


127
is

Of the

or feeling relations susceptibility of perceiving

not inconsistent with the usage of our language its thoughts together, and compares them. Such are of Mr. Locke, who speaks of the nearly the expressions mind's bringing one thing to and setting it ly another, and carrying its view from one to the other. And such is the imperfect nature of all arbitrary signs, that this to be employed, alphraseology will probably continue without some attention it will be likely to lead though Such expressions are evidently of material into error.
IT
to say, that the mind brings and places them side by side,

and cannot be rightly interpreted in their applicaorigin, tion to the mind, without taking that circumstance into

When it is said that our thoughts consideration. side by side, and brought together ; that they are placed the like, probably nothing more can be meant than tbis, that they are immediately successive to each other. And when it is further said that we compare them, the meanor feel their relation to each other ing is, that we perceive
are
in certain respects.

The mind,

power corresponding

therefore, has an original susceptibility or to this result ; in other words, by

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT.

14 J
sometimes

which

this result is

brought about

which

is

known

power of RELATIVE SUGGESTION, and at other times the same thing is expressed by the term JUDGMENT,
as
its

is sometimes employed with other although the latter term " With the shadesof meaning. susceptibility of Relative Dr. Brown, Leek 51, "the faculty ot Suggestion/' says is commonly employed, may be judgment., as that term and 1 have accordconsidered as

ingly used

nearly synonymous; as synonymous in treating of the different relations that have come under our review." our arrive here, therefore, at an ultimate fact
it

We

^in

mental nature
thoroughly
other.
that,

in other wends, we reach a principle so resolved into any elementary, that xt cannot be
;

The human intellect is so made, so constituted, when it perceives different objects together, or has
^

of any absent objects immediately successive conceptions of perception, their mutual relations are immediately felt like or unby it. It considers them as equal or unequal,
different in respect to place and being the same or as having the same or different causes and ends, time, and in various other respects.
like, as
128

Occasions on which feelings of relation

may

arises

The

occasions on

which

feelings of relation

may

arise

It would certainly be no easy are almost innumerable. task to specify them all. Any of the ideas which the mind is able to frame, may, either directly or indirectly, of other ideas of relation, since they lay the foundation in general, be compared together ; or if they cannot may, themselves be readily placed side by side, may be jrnade others into comparison. But those the means of

bringing

ideas

which are of an external origin are representative of objects and their qualities ; and hence we may^ speak of the relations of things no less than of the relations of jind such relations are everywhere discoverthought,
able.

behold the flowers of the field, and one is fairer than another ; we hear many voices, and one is louder or softer than another ; we taste the fruits of the earth, and one flavour is more pleasant than another. But these and taste, could never differences of sound, and
_

We

brightness,

142
be

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT.

known to us without the power of perceiving relations. an- 1 as we make him Again, we see a fellow-being ; the subject of our thoughts, we at first think of him only But then he may, at the same time, be a faas a man. a brother, a son, a citizen, a legislator; these terms ther, relation. express ideas of
129

Of

the use of correlative terras

Correlative terms are such terms as are used to express of relation. They suggest the relacorresponding ideas the tions with great readiness, and, by means of them, mind can be more steadily, and longer, and with less fixed upon the ideas of which they are expressive. pain,

The words brother and


class,

as

and son, legislator and constituent, husband and wife, and others of this soon as they are named, at once carry oui
father
sister,

the persons who are the subjects of thoughts beyond Wherever, these relations to the relations themselves. there are correlative terms, the relations may
therefore,

be expected to be clear to the mind.


130

Of

relations of identity and dnersity

SITY,

The most of in their full extent. posed, exhausts them those which it will be necessary to notice may be brought into the seven classes of relations of IDENTITY and DIVEROf DEGREE, Of PROPORTION, of PLACE, of TIME, of POSand of CAUSE and EFFECT.

of relations is very great ; so much so, that found difficult to reduce them to classes ; and probait is of them which has been hitherto probly no classification

The number

class of ideas of relation which we shall pro ceed to consider, are those of IDENTITY and DIVERSITY.Such is the nature of our minds, that no two objects can be placed before us essentially unlike, without our having a perception of this difference. When, on the other hand, there is an actual sameness in the objects contemplated

SESSION,

The

first

or by us, the mind perceives


It

is

sensible of their identity

not meant take ; that the


is

nor

by this that we are never liable to mismind never confounds what is different, the same our object here is merely separates what is
;

to state

the general fact.

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT.

143

for instance, are placed before pieces of paper, the one white and the other red ; and we at once as, without the delay of resorting to other objects perceive, and bringing them into comparison, chat the colours are not the same. immediately and necessarily perceive a difference between a square and a circle, between a a parallelogram, between the river and the triangle and rude cliff that overhangs it, the flower and the turf from the house and the hill, the which it

Two

We

springs,

neighbouring
this

horse and his rider.

Whatever may be the appearance of


it is perception at first sight,

elementary

undoubtedly one of great

practical importance. of soning, as the train

step ; evident,

of reaplace in all forms from step to argument pioceeds and in Demonstrative reasoning in particular, it is that without it we should be unable to combine
It

has

its

together the plainest propositions.


131
(II
)

Relations of degree, and names expressive of them

Another class of those intellectual perceptions which are to be ascribed to the Judgment, or what we term more the power of RELATIVE SUGGESTION, may properexplicitly be named perceptions of relations of Degree. ly enough Such perceptions of relation are found to exist in respect as to all such objects as are capable of being considered and as susceptible, in some respects, of composed of parts, look, for instance, at two men; different degrees. but we at once perceive and assert they are both tall ; taste two apples ; that one is taller than the other. but we say that one is sweeter than they are both sweet ; That is to say, we discover, in addition to the another. mere perception of the man and the apple, a relation, a difference in the objects in certain respects. are terms in all employed in the ex-

We

We

There

languages

In English a reference to the relations. pression of such is often combined in the same term particular relation which expresses the quality. All the words of the comformed by merely; alterparative and superlative degrees, the termination of the positive, are of this description, ing as whiter, sweeter, wiser, larger, smaller, nobler, kinder,
truest, falsest, holiest,

and a multitude of

others.

In oth-

144
er cases,

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OE JUDGMENT.

the epithet (and probably the greater number,) the quality is combined with the adverbs expressive of more and most, less and least. But certainly we should not use such terms if we were not possessed of the power of relative suggestion. We should ever be unable to &ay one that it is sweeter than another, of one

apple

or^of

than another, without considering them in certain definite respects, and without perceiving So that, if we had no knowledge of any certain relations.
that

man

he

is taller

other than relations of Degree, we should abundantly see the importance of the mental susceptibility under review, considered as a source of words and of grammatical forms
In language.
$

132

(III )

Of

relations of proportion.

other relations which are discovered to us by power of judgment or relative suggestion, are^those of PROPORTION; a class of relations which are peculiar in on the presence of three or this, that they are felt only more objects of thought. They are discoverable particu-

Among

the

of numbers, as no one proceeds far larly in the comparison in numerical combinations without a knowledge of them.

is to nine as nine to twenty-seven; that two to eight as eight to thirty-two ; that four is to five as sixteen to twenty, &c. Arid when we have once felt or perceived such relation

twenexamining the numbers two, three, four, twenty, feel five, eight, and sixteen, we ty-seven, thirty-two, nine, certain relations existing among them they assume a new aspect, a new power in the mental view. perceive (and we can assert, in reference to that perception)

On

We

that thiee

is

actually existing between

ever afterward regard

it

any one number and others, we as a property inseparable from

known

that number, although the property had remained unto us until we had compared it with others.

We

attach to numbers, under such circumstances, a new attribute, a new power, the same as we do, under similar circumstances, to all the other subjects of our knowledge.
ies,

There are many properties, for instance, of external bodwhich were not known to us at first, but, as soon as the they are discovered, they are, of course, embraced in

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OH JUDGMENT.

145

and are o-eneral notion which we form of such bodies, And pursuing the considered as making a part of it. same course in respect to numbers, if, on comparing them with each other, we perceive certain relations never discovered before, the circumstance of their sustaining those of relations ever afterward enters into our conception
^

them.
133 (IV
)

Of

relations of place or position.

Other feelings or perceptions of relation arise when we contemplate the place or position of objects. Our minds are so constituted, that such perceptions are the of the outward obnecessary results of our contemplations which we are surrounded. Perhaps we are askjects by Without proor place ? ed, What we mean by position to give a confident answer, since it is undoubtedly fessing to explain ft, we difficult, by any mereformof words, fully for saying that we cannot conceive of have good grounds without comparing it with any body as having place, some other bodies. If, therefore, having two bodies fixed, or which maintain the same relative position, we can comwith them, the third body can then be pare a third body
^

said to

hve

This

may be

chessboard. thouo-h the board


to another.

place or position. illustrated by the chessmen placed on the aie in the same place, alsay the men

We

We use this language, because we

may have been removed

from one room


consider

of the the men only in relation to each other and the parts and not in relation to the room or parts of the board, of a room . Again, a portrait is suspended in the cabin the captain points to it, and says to a bystander, ship ; this seven that it has been precisely in the same place in point of fact, it has passed from Whereas, years. to Africa, from Africa to America, and perhaps

Europe

uttered no round the whole world. Still the speaker of the portrait, (and was so falsehood, because he spoke the ship, and understood to speak of it,) in relation to

and not in relation to the parts 01 particularly the cabin ; which the ship had visited. Such instances the world show that place is relative. Hence we may clearly lurve an idea of the place or po

146

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT.

sition of all the different parts of the universe, consider-

the place or position of the universe considered as a other body with which whole, because we have then no we can compare it. If it were possible for us to know all worlds and things at once, to comprehend the universe we could not assert, with all our knowlwith a
glance,
there, yonder, here, edge of it, that it where it would be. But if place express a relative notion, then it follows that all words which involve or imply the place or posiSuch are tion of an object are of a similar character. the words high and low, superior and inferior, (when used to the position of objects,) near and distant, in
is

ed separately, "because they may be compared with othto form any idea of er parts although we axe unable
;

or

or

or

tell

respect

above and beneath, further, nearer, hither, yonder, here, and the there, where, beyond, within, around, without,
like.
134.

(V

Of

lelations of time.

is

Another source of relative perceptions or judgments Time holds nearly the same relation to duration The position or piace of obdoes to space. as
TIME.
position
is

but space marked out and limited ] time, in like is duration set off into distinct periods ; and as our notions of the place of bodies are relative, so also are our conceptions of events considered as happening in It is true, that the notions of duration and space time. are in themselves original and absolute ; they are made known to us by Original rather than by Relative Suggestion ; but when they are in any way limited, and events are thereby contemplated in reference to them under the
jects

manner,

new
arise

forms of place and time, certain

new

conceptions

which are

relative.

All time is contemplated under the aspect of past, presare able, chiefly in consequence of the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, to form a distinct notion of portions of time, a day, a month, a year, &c. ; we can contemplate events, not only as existing at presBut always when we think or ent, but as future or past speak of events in tune, (in other words, when we speak
ent, or future.

We

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT.


oi the date of events,) there
relation, ception of
is

147

a comparison and a per-

present to the year one, which coincides with the birth of our Saviour ; then the year 1776 expresses the distance between
these

therefore, is the import of our language when of the North American colosay, the independence was declared July fourth, 1776. The meaning of nies assume these expressions may he thus illustratedas a given period, and reckon back the year, 1838,

What,

we

We

viz., one, and eighteen hundred thirThis seems to be all we learn when we say, the Independence of the United jStates was declared at the the Again, we obviously mean period above mentioned. same thing, and convey the same idea, whether we say that the Saviour was born in the year ONE of the Christian from the creation of the world. era, or in the year 4004 the distance But, in the last case, the year 4004 expresses between these two extremes, viz., the beginning of the world and the present time ; while, in the first instance^ So the event itself forms the beginning of the series. that all dates appear to be properly classed under the head of ideas of relation; and also all names whatever, which are in way expressive of the time of events,

two extremes,

ty-eight.

any

as a second, a minute, day, week, hour, month, year, cy&c. cle, yesterday, to-morrow, to-day,
135. (VI
)

Of

ideas of possession.

called relations of that not tmfrequently, in his examination of objects, there arises a new feeling, which is distinct from, and independent of, the mere conthemselves ; and which, as it difceptions of the objects the fers from other feelings of relation, may be^ termed This is one of the relation of possession or belonging to. which human beings exercise. When earliest

Another

class of relations

may be

POSSESSION,

Every one knows,

feelings

we

them,

see the small child grasping its top and rattle with the claims of another to a share in joy, and disputing know that he has formed the notion of we

may

possession.

It is

rience fully shows that by the lapse of years.

not only formed in early life, but expeit loses neither activity strength

UK

148

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT.


application

The
tvhich

we

this particular

of the Judgment, or that power by relations of things, is frequent in perceive the form ; and we find here a fruitful source of

The whole class of possessive pronouns, are to be found in all languages, have their origin here; such as MINE, THINE, YOUR, HIS, HER, &c. The relation of possession is imbodied also in the genitive case of the other languages Latins, Germans, and whatever
words.

which

Greeks, in the same way ; in the construct state express relations of nouns in the Hebrew and the other cognate dialects ; and in the preposition OF, which is the substitute for the in English, and the articles DE, DTJ, genitive termination
DE'L,

and DE LA in French. verbs TO BE in English, ESSE in Latin, ETRE in be said of the French, (and the same may undoubtedly

The

often

of existence in all languages,) are corresponding verb of possession or employed to express the relation To say that the rose is recUr the orange to. belonging much as to say that the qualities of yellowyellow, is as redness are the possession of. or belong to, the ness and
rose

and orange.

But

it

will

be observed that the

rela-

the subject, nor by tion is by the epithet expressive of its quality, but by the verb which And similar remarks connects the subject and predicate. nill apply to some other verbs. This class of relations is involved in many complex

not indicated

the

name of

terms, which imply definite qualities and affections mind, as friend, enemy, lover, hater, adorer, worshipper These terms not only indicate certain individuals, to whom
of

but assert the existence of certain menthey are applied,


tal affections as their characteristics,

and as belonging to
and

them.
$ 136

(VII

Of

relations of cause

effect.

There are

relations also of

Cause and Effect.

We will

not delay here to explain the origin of the notions of cause and effect, any further than to say that the notion of cause, as it first exists in the mind, includes nothing more than invariable antecedence. When the antecedence to the event, or the sequence of whatever kind, is our own volition (and probably in two other cases*

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT

l**

see The idea 118,) we have the new idea of POWER. of invariable antecedence, therefore, which of course sup* poses some sequence, when it is combined with that of Power, constitutes the full notion of CAUSE. Wnen the

sequence is found invariably to follow, and its existence cannot be ascribed to anything eke, it is called the EFFECT. Accordingly, men usually give the name of events, of occurrences, orJWs, to those things which from time to time fall under their notice, wnen they are considered
in themselves.

and nothing more.

further invariable forerunners, they cease to apply these terms, and call them, in reference to their antecedents, EFFECTS.

are the mere facts, the mere events, But when, in the course of theii experience, such events are found to have certain

They

And,

in like

manner, the antecedents are called CAUSES, not

in themselves considered, but in reference to

what

inva-

riably

therefore, have certainly a relation to each other ; it is thus that they exist in the view of the mind and in the nature of things, however true it may be that men are unable to trace any physical connexion cannot conceive of a cause, if we between them. exclude from the list of our ideas the correlative notion of effect, nor, on the other hand, do we call anything an These effect without a reference to some antecedent. two notions, therefore, involve or imply the existence of each other ; that is, are relative.

comes after. Cause and effect,

We

137.

Of complex terms

involving the relation of cause and effect.

suggestion of the relation of Cause and Effect exists on occasions almost innumerable ; and in all lanof words. This guages gives a character to a multitude relation is imbodied, for instance, in a multitude of names which are expressive of complex objects, such as farmer, sculptor, warrior, writer, poet, manufac-

The

printer,

turer^ painter.

When we look at any thus illustrated. of statuary, the sight of it naturally suginteresting piece But when our mind is thus directed gests its author. from the statue to the sculptor, it is evident we do not
This

may be

think of

him

as

we

do of a thousand others, but

we

com-

N2

L50

RELATIVE SUGGESTION OR JUDGMENT.

bine with the conception of the individual a reference to unite with the mere* complex what he has done. notion of man that of a cause, and this combination eviit relative instead of dently alters its character, making In like manner, when we look at a fine portrait absolute. or historical painting, we are naturally reminded of the has been displayed in its proporartist, whose ingenuity But the word painter, which we aptions and colouring. not merely the man, but comprises ply to him, expresses the additional notion of the relation of cause, which he holds to the interesting picture before us.

We

138. Connexion of relative suggestion with reasoning

It may be profitable to notice here the connexion which The relative suggestion has with reasoning in general. of relation (or elementary judgments, as they

suggestions

maf perhaps
a

train of reasoning,

they evidently in a train of reasoning, and are distinguished by

in some respects, to properly be called) are, what parts are to the whole. But do not of themselves include all the parts
this

pe-

that their office in a great measure is to connect culiarity, In the comsubordinate parts in the train. together other bination of numbers, and in the various applications of

demonstrative reasoning, the relations of PROPORTION and the relations of IDENTITY and DIVERSITY, (otherwise called of AGREEMENT and DISAGREEMENT,) find a conspicuous place.

Moral reasoning embraces all kinds of relations, those of and cause and effect, as degree, time, place, possession, well as of agreement and disagreement, and of proporRelative feelings, sometimes of one kind and tion.
sometimes of another, continually unfold themselves as So that, although there the mind advances in argument are elements in reasoning besides perceptions of relation, it is evident that it cannot advance independently of their
did.

Facts

may be

accumulated, having close and de-

cisive relations to the points to be proved, but those facts can never be so bound together as to result in any decisive

conclusion, without a perception


relations.

and knowledge of the

ASSOCIATION.

(l )

PRIM/RY LAWS.

15J

CHAPTER
ASSOCIATION.
139
(l.)

V.

PRIMARY LAWS

Reasons

for

considering this subject here.

IN giving an account of the internal origin of knowledge, we might be expected to proceed directly from Relative Suggestion to a consideration of the Reasoning power, which is one of the most effective and fruitful sources of intellectual perception. By means of this we are enabled to combine and compare the ampower, ple materials furnished by ORIGINAL SUGGESTION, CONSCIOUSNESS, and RELATIVE SUGGESTION, and thus to develape in the mind new elements of thought, and to cast light on But there are the darkened places in the field of truth. powers of the mind, subordinate to the reasoning power,

which may with propriety be considered; particularly Association and Memory. Other persons, perhaps, in examining the various parts of the mind, would propose for the consideration of these powers some other place ; but we see no valid objection On the contrary, they have to considering them here. comparatively so little to do with what has gone before, md so much to do with what comes after, and, in particular, are so essential to every process of ratiocination, that
and
first

essential to its action,

this

tion

seems to be their appropriate position. As associais presupposed and involved in memory as well as in with that principle first reasoning, we naturally begin
140

Meaning of association and

illustrations.

lar

Our thoughts and feelings follow each other in a reguOf this statement no one needs any other train. than his individual experience. We all know, not proof
of new states, but, only that our minds are susceptible what is more, that this capability of new states is not forTherefore we not only say tuitous, but has its laws. that our thoughts and feelings succeed each other, but that this antecedence and sequence is in a regular train

152

ASSOCIATION.

To

this regular and established consecution of the states of the mind, we give the name of MENTAL ASSOCIATION. Illustrations of this important principle, which exerts an influence over the emotions and desires as well as over

the thoughts, are without number. Mr. Hobbes relates, in his political treatise of the Leviathan, that he was once where the conveisation turned on the Engin

course abruptly asked, in the the value of a Roman of the conversation, Such a question, so remote from the general denarius 1 direction of the conversation, had the appearance not
lish Civil

company War.

A person

What was

only

of great

abiuptness,

but

of impertinence.

Mr.
able to

Hobbes

says, that, on trace the train of thought

little

reflection, he*

was

which suggested the question. discourse naturally introduced subject of original the hisfory of King Charles ; the king naturally suggested the treachery of those who surrendered him up to his of these enemies the readily introdu-

The

treachery

persons

ced to the mind the treachery of Judas Iscariot ; the conduct of Judas was associated with the thirty pieces of "Romans occupied Judea at the time of silver, and, as the
the crucifixion of the Saviour, the pieces of silver were associated with the Roman denarii. " When I was through the wilds of Ameritravelling

ca," says the eloquent Chateaubriand, established as surprised to hear that I had a countryman I visited him the woods. a resident at some distance

"

was not a

little

witli

He cast a look towards stakes at the door of his hat. me, which was cold enough, and continued his woik ; but, the moment I addressed him in French, he started at the
recollection of his country,

eagerness.,

and found him employed

in pointing

some

eye.

and the big tear stood in his These well-known accents suddenly roused, in the heart of the old man, all the sensations of his infancy/'* Such illustrations, which appeal to every one's consciousness in confirmation of their truth, ciation is.
141

show what

asso-

Of

the general laws of association

In regard

to Association, all that

we know

is

the fact

* Chateaubriand's Recollections of Italy, England, and America.

(l.)

PRIMARY LAWS.

153

and feelings, under certain circumstanappear together and keep each other company. We do not undertake to explain why it is that association, in the circumstances appropriate to its manifestation, has an know the simple fact ; and if it be an existence. ultimate principle in our mental constitution, as we have no reason to doubt that it is, we can know nothing more. Association, as thus understood, has its laws. By the Laws of association we mean no other than the general the regudesignation of those circumstances under which lar consecution of mental states which has been mentioned occurs. The following may be named as among the Primary or more important of those laws, although it is not necessary to take upon us to assert either that the enumeration is complete, or that some better arrangement of them might not be proposed, viz., RESEMBLANCE, CONTRAST, CONTIGUITY in time and place, and CAUSE and
that our thoughts
ces,

We

EFFECT.
142

Resemblance the

first

general law of association

New

trains of ideas
;

and

new

emotions are occasioned

that they are occasioned in this way, all that is meant is, that there is a new state of mind immediately subsequent to the perception Of the efficient cause of this of the resembling object. new state of mind under these circumstances, we can onlyof the soul has seen fit to appoint this say, the Creator connexion in its operations, without our being able, or

by Resemblance

but

when we say

deeming
traveller,

it

A necessary, to give any further explanation. wandering hi a foreign land, finds himself, in the

course of his sojouraings, in the midst of aspects of nature not unlike those where he has formerly resided, and the fact of this resemblance becomes the antecedent to new There is distinctly brought before him states of mind. the scenery which he has left, his own woods, his waters,

self

and his home. The enterprising Lander, in giving an account of one of his excursions in Africa, expresses him" The and tint exhibited thus.

every variety foliage of green, from the sombre shade of the melancholy yew For to the lively verdure of the poplar and young oak. and myself, I was delighted with the agreeable ramble;

154
imagined that
I

ASSOCIATION

could distinguish among the notes of the the swelling strains ot the English songsters of the grove, of ^the and thrush, and the more gentle warbling skylark was indeed a brilliant morning, It and linnet.
finch
to
5

and recalled my teeming with life and beauty of sanguine boyhood, a thousand affecting associations ory when I was thoughtless and happy." whenever The result is the same in any other case, between what we now experience there is a resemblance have and what we have previously experienced. with for instance, at some former period, been acquainted, us to possess some a person whose features appeared to and openness of the forehead^ an peculiarity; a breadth

mem-

We

uncommon expression of the eye, or some other striking which mark to-day we meet a stranger in the crowd by of a somewhat are surrounded, whose features are we at once vividly suggests similar cast, and the resemblance
:

the likeness of our old acquaintance. resemNor is the association which is based upon which are to objects of sight Objects blance limited in the addressed to the sense of hearing are recalled

same way. " How

soft the

music of those
all

Falling at intervals upon With easy force it opens

village bells, the ear

the cells
I

Where memory

slept

Wherever

have heard

kindred melody, the scene recurs, " And with it all its pleasures and its pains

A
$

143

Of resemblance
as

in the effects

produced

Resemblance operates,
only

an associating principle^ not

for instance,

a likeness or similarity in the things is a resemblance in the themselves, but also when there which are produced upon the mind. The ocean, effects when by the winds, and

when

there

is

greatly agitated
to

produces threatening every which is caused by the mind an emotion similar to that is able to do us harm. the presence of an angry man who of this similarity in the effects proin
us,

moment

overwhelm

in

And,

consequence the case that they reciprocally duced, it is sometimes each other to our recollection. bring Dark woods, hanging over the brow of a mountain.

(J.)

PRIMARY LAW6

155

cause in us a feeling of awe and wonder, like that which we feel when we behold approaching us some aged perfor his years, and TV hose son, whose form is venerable

name

is

renowned

for

wisdom and

justice.

It is in refer-

ence to this view of the principle on which we arc reis introduced in marking, that the following comparison Akenside's Pleasures of the Imagination
:

"

Mark

the sable woods,,


,

That shade sublime yon mountain's nodding brow "Wjtli what religious awe the solemn, scene

Of Minos or of Numa should The Elysiau seats, and down " Move to your pausing eye

Commands your

'

steps

As

if

the reverend form

forsake
the

embowering glade

are so constituted that all nature produces in us certain effects, causes certain emotions similar to those which are caused in us in our intercourse with our fellowin virtue of this fact, the nat beings, it so happens that, The ural world becomes living, animated, operative. the sky smiles ; the diSfroums ; ^the ocean is in anger ; the earth and its productions aged woods are venerable ; a dead mass, but have an existence, a soul, are no

As we

an agency. We see here, in part, the foundation of metand it is here that we are to look aphorical language ; for the principles by which we are to determine the proof its use. priety or impropriety
$

longer

144 Contrast the second general or primary law

CONTRAST is another law or principle by successive mental states are suggested ; or, in other terms, when there are two objects, or events, or situations of a character precisely opposite, the idea or conception of one When the that of the other. followed is
immediately
is

which our

of the palace of the king, how often are we reminded in the same breath of the cottage of the peasant And thus it is that wealth and po-\erty, the cradle and
discourse
i

by

the grave, and hope and despair, a*e found, in public in writings, so frequently going together, speeches and and keeping each other company. The truth is, they are connected together in our thoughts by a distinct ancl^operative principle; they accompany each other, ^certainly not because there is any resemblance in the things thus

156

ASSOCIATION.

associated, but in consequence of their very


trariety.

Darkness reminds of

light,

marked conheat of cold, friend-

ship of enmity; the sight of the conqucior is associated with the memory of the conquered, and, when beholding

men

of deformed and dwarfish appearance, we are at once led to think of those of erect figure or of Patagoman size. Contrast, then, is no less a principle or law of association than resemblance itself. Count Lemaistre's touching story, entitled, from the scene of its incidents, THE LEPER OF AOST, illustrates the effects of the principle of association now under consideration. Like all persons infected with the leprosy, the subject of the disease is represented as an object of dread no less than of pity to others, and, while he is an outcast from the society of men, he is a loathsome spectacle even

to himself. But what is the condition of his mind ? What are the subjects of his thoughts 1 The tendencies of his intellectual nature prevent his thinking of wretchedness His extreme misery aggravates itself by suggestalone. ing scenes of ideal happiness, and his mind revels in a paradise of delights merely to give greater intensity to

his actual

woes by contrasting them with imaginary bliss. represent to myself continually," says the Leper, " societies of sincere and virtuous friends families bless;

"I

envy proportion my Association by CONTRAST is the foundation of the rhe torical figure of Antithesis. In one of the tragedies oi Southern we find the following antithetic expressions
" Could I forget

ed with health, fortune, and harmony. I imagine I see them walk in groves greener and fresher than these, the shade of which makes my poor happiness ; brightened by a sun more brilliant than that winch sheds its beams or me ; and their destiny seems to me as much more worthy in of own is the more miserable " as

What What
I

I I

have been, I might the better bear

am

destined to

I
,

That have been wretched


have been happier "

am not the first but to think how

much

Here the present is placed in opposition with the past, and happiness is contrasted with misery ; not by a cold anfl strained artifice, as one might be led to suppose, but

(I.)

PRIMARY LAWS.

57

ciate together things that are the leverse


145

oy the natural impulses of the mind, "which is led to assoof each other
Contiguity the third general or primary law

Those thoughts and feelings which have been connected together by nearness of time and place, are readily suggested by each other; and, consequently, contiguity in those respects is rightly reckoned as another and third primary law of our mental associations. When we think of Palestine, for instance, we very readily and naturally think of the Jewish nation, of the patriarchs, of the prophets, of the Saviour, and of the apostles, because Palestine was their place o residence and the theatre of their acSo that this is evidently an instance where the suggestions are chiefly regulated by proximity of place. When a variety of acts and events have happened nearly at the same period, whether in the same place or not one is not thought of without the other being closely associated with it, of time. If, thereowing to
tions.

proximity

the particular event of the crucifixion of the Saviour be mentioned, we are necessarily led to think of various other events which occurred about the same period, such as the treacherous conspiracy of Judas, the denial of Peter, the conduct of the Roman soldiery, the rending of the vail of the temple, and the temporary obscuration of the
fore,

sun.

The mention of Egypt suggests the Nile, the Pyramids, monuments of the Thebais, the follies and misfortunes of Cleopatra, the battle of Aboukir. The mention of Greece is associated with Thermopylae and Salamis, the Hill of Mars, and the Vale of Tempe, Ilissus, the steeps
the

of Delphi, Lyceum, and the " olive shades of Academus." These, it will be noticed, are associations on the principle of contiguity in PLACE. But if a particular event of great interest is mentioned, other events and renowned names, which attracted notice at the same period, will eagerly cluster around it. The naming of the AMEF TCAN REVOLUTION, for instance, immediately fills the mind with recollections of Washington, Franklin, Morris, Greene, Jay, and many of their associates, whose fortune it was to enlist their exertions in support of constitutional rights, not

158

ASSOCIATION.

merely in the same country, (for that circumstance alone might not have been sufficient to have recalled tnem,) but at the same period of time. It is generally supposed, and not without reason for it, that the third primary law of mental association is more It has been extensive in its influence than any others. remarked with truth, that proximity in time and place forms the basis of the whole calendar of the great mass of mankind. They pay but little attention to the arbitrary eras of chronology ; but date events by each other, and speak of what happened at the time of some dark day, of some destructive overflow of waters, of some great
eclipse, of

some period of drought and famine, of some


146

war

or revolution.
$

Cause and

effect the fourth

primary law.

There are certain facts or events which hold to each


other the relation of invariable antecedence and sequence. That fact or event to which some other one sustains the
relation of constant antecedence, is, in general, called an And that fact or event to which some other one

effect.

holds the relation of invariable sequence, has, in general, Now there may be no resemblance the name of a cause. in the things which reciprocally bear this relation ; there

may be no
There

contrariety ; and it is by no means necessary that diere should be contiguity in time or place, as the

meamng of the term contiguity is commonly understood. may be CAUSE and EFFECT without any one or all of the^e circumstances. But it is a fact which is known to eve\y one's expeiience, that, when we think of the cause in any particular instance, we naturally think of the
effect,

and, on the contrary, the knowledge or recollection of the effect brings to mind the cause. And in view of this well-known and general experience, there is good reason for reckoning CAUSE and EFFECT among the pri-

mary
viz.,

here understand

What we principles of our mental associations. by principles or laws will be recollected,


general designation of those circumstances under

The

which the regular cons* cution of mental states occurs. It is on the principle of Cause and Effect, that, when

wo

see a surgical instrument, or

any engine of torture, we

ASSOCIATION.

(II. J

SECONDARY LAWS.

159

which they are fitted to And, on the contrary, the sight of a wound, inflicted however long* before, suggests to us the idea of the instrument by which it was made. Mr. Locke relates an incident, which illustrates the statements made here, of a man who was restored from a state of insanity by means of a harsh and exceedingly painful operation "The gentleman who was thus recovered, with great sense of gratitude and acknowledgment, owned the cure all his life after, as the greatest obligation he could have received ; but, whatever gratitude and reason suggested
occasion.
to him, he could never bear the sight of the operator; that image brought back with it the idea of that agony which he suffered from his hands, which was too

have

a conception of the pain

and intolerable for him to endure." The operation of the law of Cause and Effect, in the production of new associations,
istic

mighty

seems to be involved in the follow ing characterpassage of Shakspeare, Henry IV., 2d pt, act i. "Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
:

Hath but a losing office and his tongue Sounds ever after as a sullen bell, Remember'd knollmg a departed friend "
;

CHAPTER
ASSOCIATION,
147

VI.

(n.)

SECONDARY LAWS.
connexion with the primary.

Secondary laws, and

their

not exhausted in the enumeration and explanation of its Laws which has thus far been given. Besides the PRIMARY LAWS, which have fallen under our consideration, there are certain marked and prominent circumstances, which are found to exert, in a
is

THE

subject of Association

greater or less degree, a modifying and controlling influence over the more general As this influence
principles.

of a permanent character, and not merely accidental and temporary, the grounds or sources of it are called, by way of distinction, SECONDARY LAWS. These are four in number, viz., lapse of Time, degree of co-existent Feelis

160

ASSOCIATION.

mg, repetition or Habit, and original or constitutional Difference in character. It must at once be obvious, that these principles, although holding a subordinate rank, give an increased range and power to the PRIMARY laws. It is not to be inferred from the epithet by which they are distinguished, that they are, therefore, of a very minor and inconsideraOn the contrary, human nature without ble importance.
them, as far as we are capable of judging, would have assumed a sort of fixed and inflexible form, instead of presenting those pleasing and almost endless diversities it now does. The primary laws are the great national roads along which the mind holds its course ; the secondary are those cross-roads that intersect them from time to time, and thus afford an entrance into, and a communication
with, the surrounding country ; and yet all have a connexion with each other ; and with all their turnings and intersections, concur at last in the ultimate destination.
148.

Of

the influence of lapse of time

The
law
is

consider,

of the four secondary laws which we shall Stated more particularly, the LAPSE OF TIME. Our trains of thought and emotion are more this
first is
:

or less strongly connected and likely to be restored, according as the lapse of time has been greater or less. Perhaps no lapse of time, however great, will utterly break the chain of human thought, and cause an entire inability of restoring our former experiences ; but it appears evident from observation, as much so as observation renders evident in almost any case, that every additional moment of intervening time weakens, if it do not break and sunder, the bond that connects the present with the

and diminishes the probability of such a restoration. remember many incidents, even of a tiffing nature, which occurred to-day, or the present week, while those of yesterday or of last week are forgotten. But if the increased period of months and years throws itself between the present time and the date of our past experiences, our ancient joys, regrets, and sufferings, then how unfrequent is their recurrence, and how weak and shadpast,

We

owy

they appear!

Increase the lapse of time a

little

(ll.)

SECONDARY LAWS.

161

tory; search,

of oar hisfurther, and a dark cloud rests on that portion ]ess substantial than a dieam, it utteily eludes our

and becomes to us as if it never had been. There is, however, an apparent exception to this law which should be mentioned. The associated feelings of old men, which were formed in their youth and the early of manhood, are more readily revived than those of part On this state of things in old men, two relater origin. marks are to be made. The FIRST is, that the law under consideration fully and unfailingly maintains itself in the case of aged persons, whenever the time is not extended Events which happened but a few hours befar back. fore are remembered, while there is an utter forgetfulness of those which happened a few weeks or even days beSo far as this, the law operates in old men precisefore. The SECOND remark is, that the failure as in others.
ly

of its operation in respect to the events of youth, is caused, not by an actual inability in the secondary law before us, to blot out and diminish here as in other cases, but by the the combined action of two other laws, greater power of Our and Repetition or habit. v.z., Co-existent feeling, as a general statement, was the most deeply inearly life, is the most frequently recurred to ; and in teresting, and this way its recollections become so incorporated with the mind as to hold a sort of precedence over our more recent
experiences,

and
149

thrust

them from

their proper place.


habit.

Secondary law of repetition or


is

REPETITION ; in other words, successions of thought are the more readily suggested in If are the more frequently renewed. proportion as they we experience a feeling once, and only once, we find it difficult to recall it after it has gone from us ; but repeat-

Another secondary law

ed experience Increases the probability of its recurring. to commit to memory, Every schoolboy who is required this law to the test, and proves it Having read a puts sentence a number of times, he finds himself able to rewhich he could not do with merely peat it out of book, it once. reading The operation of this law is" seen constantly in particiar arts

and

piofessions.

If

02

men be especially trained up

182

ASSOCIATION.

to certain trades, arts, or sciences, their associations oi>

chose particular subjects, and on everything connected with them, are found to be prompt and decisive. can but seldom detect any hesitancy or mistake within the circle where their minds have been accustomed to and process have been operate, because every thought

We

recalled

and repeated thousands of

times.

With almost

is a train of reflection, everything they see or hear, there and bringing it connecting it with their peculiar calling, within the beaten and consecrated circle. Every hour, unless they guard against it, hastens the process which threatens to cut them off, and insulate them from the

and to great interests of humanity,


professional. " Still
o'er those scenes their

make them wholly

memory wakes,
, ,

And
Time

fondly broods with miser care but the impression stronger makes

As
150

streams their channels deeper wear

'*

Of

the secondary law of co-existent emotion.

A third secondary law is

CO-EXISTENT EMOTION.
:

It

may

be stated in other words as follows The probability that our mental states will be recalled by the general laws, will in part depend on the depth of feeling, the degree of interest, which accompanied the original experience of them. Why are bright objects more readily recalled than It is not merely because they occupied faint or obscure ? more distinctly our perception, but because they more engaged our attention and interested us, the natural consequence of that greater distinctness. Why do those events in our personal history, which were accompanied with great joys and sorrows, stand out like pyramids in our past life, distinct to the eye, and immoveable in their position, while others have been swept away and cannot be found ? Merely because there were joy and sorrow in the one case, and not at all, or only in a slight degree, in the other ; because the sensitive part of our nature combined itself with the intellectual ; the Heart gave activity to the operations of the Understanding. learn from the Bible that the Jews, in their state of exile, could not forget Jerusalem, the beloved and

We

(II.)

SECONDARY LAWS.
not
1

163
did
it

beautiful City

And why

How

happen

that, in their Captivity, they sat

down by

the rivers of

Babylon, wept when they remembered Zion, and hung It was because Jerusalem their harps on the willows? was not only an object of thought, but of feeling. They had not only known her gates and fountains, her pleasant them. The dwelling-places and temples, but had loved was not a lifeless abstraction of the head ; but Holy City a sacred and delightful image, engraven in the heart. And hence it was, that, in their solitude and sorrow, she
arose before

them

so distinctly,

" The morning

star of

memory,"
151
the mental constitution. Original difference in

The
Law,
terms
it
:

fourth

*'KIGINAL

and last secondary law of association is DIFFERENCE IN THE MENTAL CONSTITUTION. This will be noticed, is expressed in the most general
is

and

to

be considered, therefore, as applicable

both to the Intellectual and the Sensitive^part of man. It requires, accordingly, to be contemplated in two distinct points of view. The law of original difference in the mental constitution is applicable, in the FIRST place, to the Intellect, properly

and

distinctively so called

in other words, to the


soul.
is

of the comparing, judging, and reasoning part


there are differences in

That

ceptible

presumed intellectually, it will hardly be doubted, although this difference is perin different degrees, and in some cases hardly
all.

men

perceptible at

And

these original or constitutional

reach and affect the associating principle, as peculiarities The aswell as other departments of intellectual action. sociations of the great mass of mankind (peihaps it may in some cases to the accidental circumbe
entirely

intellectual deyelopeto run exclusively in the channel of Continaent) appear and place. They contemplate objects in guity in time, nearness and distance, in their familiar and outward their

stance of a

owing want of education and

exhibitions, without

examining closely into analogies and or considering them in the important relation differences, o f cause and effect. But not unfrequently we find persons constructed, who exhibit a whose minds are
differently

164

ASSOCIATION.

But even in these cases we highei order of perception. sometimes detect a striking difference in the application One person, for instance, of their intellectual powers. has from childhood exhibited a remarkable command of the relations and combinations of numbers ; another exhibits, in like

of a principle in a particular case, ing obtained possession which may appear to others perfectly and irretrievably it to hundreds and thousands insulated, he at once extends In no one of these instances does the Asof other cases. in precisely the same way, but sociating power operate exhibits in each a new aspect or phasis of action. It it is perhaps unnecessary to delay here, for the purof confirming what has now been said by a refer-

manner, an uncommon perception of uses, and powers, as they are brought together, adaptations, and set to work in the mechanic arts ; another has the in an uncommon degree, and, havpower of generalizing

pose ence to the history of individuals. slight acquaintance with literary history will show that diversities of intellect, such as have been alluded to, and founded too in a great of the associating principle, have degree on peculiarities How often had the husbandman seen the been frequent. without even asking for the cause ? apple fall to the ground saw the fall of an apple, he not only But when Newton asked for the cause, but, having conjectured it, he at once in like circumperceived its applicability to everything stances around him, to all the descending bodies on the And this was not all. Immediately exearth's surface. the operations of the principle which he had panding detected, from the surface of the earth to the stars of heaven, he showed its universality, and proved that the

most distant planet is controlled by the same great law which regulates the particles of dust beneath our feet. Here was a mind, not merely great by toil, but constitua mind which was regulainventive tionally great and ted in its action, not by the law of mere contiguity in time and place, but by the more effective associating principles of Analogy, and of Cause and Effect.
;

152

The

sensibilities. foregoing law as applicable to the

The law under

consideration holds good, in the SECOND

(ll.)

SECONDARY LAWS.

365

in respect to original differences of emotion and as it is more commonly expressed, of disposipassion, or, It will help to make us understood if -we allude tion. this part of the subject to two different classes briefly in One of the descriptions of men which we of persons. iiave now in view is composed of those, for such are un-

place,

doubtedly to be found, who are of a pensive and melancholy turn. From their earliest life they have shown a fondness for seclusion, in order that they might either commune with the secrets of their own hearts, or hold intercourse, undisturbed by others, with whatever of impressiveness and sublimity is to be found in the works of The other class are naturally of a lively and nature.
cheerful temperament.

If they delight in nature,

it

is

not in solitude, but in the

company of

others.

While

they seldom throw open their hearts for the admission of troubled thoughts, they oppose no obstacle to the entrance of the sweet beams of peace, and joy, and hope. Now it is beyond question that the primary laws of association are influenced by the constitutional tendencies manifest in these two classes of persons ; that is to say, in the minds of two individuals, the one of a cheerful, the other o$i melancholy or gloomy disposition, the trains This difference is fineof thought will be very different. ly illustrated in those beautiful poems of Milton, L'ALLE GRO and IL PENSEROSO. L' ALLEGRO, or the cheerful man,
-

finds pleasure

beholds.

mower

in every object which he great sun puts on his amber light, the whets his scythe, the milkmaid sings,

and cheerfulness

The

**

And

every shepherd

Under the hawthorn

tells his tale " in the dale

But the man of a melancholy disposition, IL PENSEROSO, chooses the evening for his walk, as most suitable to the temper of his mind ; he listens from some lonely hillock to the distant curfew, and loves to hear the song of that
* sweet bird^
" That shun'st the noise of folly, Most musical, most melancholy "

Further
modified

Our trains of suggested thoughts will be by those temporaiy feelings, which may be re:

166

MEMORY.

garded as exceptions to the more general character of our dispositions. The cheerful man is not always cheerful,

nor is the melancholy man at all times equally sober and contemplative. They are known to exchange characters for short periods, sometimes in consequence of good or ill health, or of happy or adverse fortune, and someSo times for causes which cannot be easily explained. that our mental states will be found to follow each other with a succession, varying not only with the general character of our temper and dispositions, but with the transitory emotions of the day or hour. All the laws of association may properly be given here The PRIMARY or general laws are in a condensed view.

RESEMBLANCE, CONTRAST, CONTIGUITY in time and place, and CAUSE and EFFECF. Those circumstances which are found particularly to modify and control the action of these, are termed SECONDARY laws, and are as follows : Lapse of time, Repetition or habit, Co-existent feeling; and Constitutional difference in mental character.

CHAPTER
MEMORY.
153

Vtt

Remarks on

the general nature of

memoiy

IN the further prosecution of our subject, we naturally proceed from Association to the examination of the Memory, inasmuch as the latter necessarily implies the antecedent existence of the former, and in its very naIn reference to the great questure is closely allied to it. tion of the Origin of human Knowledge, the Memory, as has already been intimated, is to be considered a source of knowledge, rather in its connexion with other mental It does not susceptibilities than in itself. appear how we could form any abstract ideas, based upon a knowledge of objects and classes of objects, without the aid of memory ; and it is well known, that its presence and action is essentially involved in all the exercises of the rea-

MEMORY.

167

soning power and of the imagination. Without delaying, however, on its connexion with the origin of knowledge,

we
in

its

shall proceed to consider the susceptibility itself, "both general nature and in some of its peculiarities.

Memory is that power or susceptibility of the mind by which those conceptions are originated which are modified by a perception of the relation of past time. Accordingly, it is not a simple, but complex action of the
intellectual principle, implying, (1.) a conception of the object; (2.) a perception of the relation of priority in its

That is, we not only have a conception of existence. the object, but this conception is attended with the conviction that it underwent the examination of our senses, or was in some way perceived by us at some former period.

stand in the midst of a forall the while at our own fireside, these pleasing ideas of woods, and of skies painted over us, and of plains under our But when with these insufeet, are mere conceptions. lated conceptions we connect the relation of time, and they gleam upon our souls as the woods, plains, and mountains of our youthful days, then those intellectual states, which were before mere conceptions, become REMEMBRANCES. And the power which the mind possesses of originating these latter complex states, is what usually goes under the name of the power or faculty of MEMORY.
that
est or

When we imagine

we

on the top of a mountain, but remain safe

154.

Of memory

as

aground or law of

belief

Memory, as explained ground or law of Belief.


lar reason to

in the preceding section, is a So far as we have no particu-

doubt that the sensations and perceptions in in the remembrance, any given correctly^ reported the Tatter controls our belief and actions not less than those antecedent states of mind on which it is founded. Such is the constitution of the human mind. It will be noticed, that, in asserting the natural dependence of becase are
lief
is

by an express limitation. It reason to doubt of our anteceonly dent experiences being correctly reported in the remembrances, that our reliance on them is of the highest kind
on memory,
it

we guard when we have no

168

MEMORY.

of internal feeJing. Every man knows, from a species whether there be grounds for doubting his memory in any case or not for the same Consciousness which
particular
;

gives

him a knowledge of the fact of memory, gives him a knowledge of the degree also in which it exists viz.,
;

whether in a high degree or low, whether distinct or obIf it be the fact that he finds reason for suspectscure.
its

ing

proportion be able to, to remove the grounds of such suspicion. It cannot reasonably be anticipated, that any objection will be made to the doctrine of a reliance on memory,

reports, his reliance to this suspicion, or

will either be diminished in he will take means, if he

with the limitation which has now been mentioned. Without such reliance, our situation would be no better, at least, than if we had been framed with an utter inaSenses or on Testimony ; we could bility to rely on the sustain an existence ; we certainly could not dehardly rive anything in aid of that existence from the experience of the past
155

Of

differences

m the strength of memory,


is

privilege of all, in nearly equa possessed and, generally speaking, To each one there is given a sufficient readidegrees. ness in this respect ; his power of remembrance is such as to answer all the ordinary purposes of life. But, although there is, in general, a nearly equal distribution of this power, we find a few instances of great weakness, and other instances of great strength of memory. It is related by Seneca of the Roman orator Horten-

The

ability to

remember

the

common

it

is

sius, that, after sitting

a whole day at a public sale, he gave an account, from memory, in the evening, of all things sold, with the prices and the names of the purchasers ; and this account, when compared with what had been taken in writing by a notary, was found to be exact in

every particular. The following is an instance of strength of memory somewhat remarkable. An Englishman, at a certain time, came to Frederic the Great of Prussia, for the exof press purpose of giving him an exhibition of his power recollection. Frederic sent for Voltaire, who read to the

MEMORY.

169

which he had just finished. The 'nng a pretty long poem in such a position that Englishman was present, and was
he could hear every word of the poem ; but was concealed from Voltaire's notice. After the reading of the poem was finished, Frederic observed to the author that the production could not be an original one, as there was a recite every word foreign gentleman present who could of it Voltaire listened with amazement to the stranger,
as he repeated, word for word, the poem which he had been at so much pains in composing ; and, giving way to a momentary freak of passion, he tore the manuscript in statement was then made to him of the cirpieces. cumstances under which the Englishman became ac quainted with his poem, which had the effect to mitigate his anger, and he was very willing to do penance for the suddenness of his passion by copying down the work from a second repetition of it by the stranger, who was able to go through with it as before.

considerable number of instances of this description are found in the recorded accounts of various individuals ; but they must be considered as exceptions to the general features of the human mind, the existence of which it is
difficult to

explain on any known principles. They are and constitutional traits ; and, if such probably original be the case, they necessarily preclude any explanation further than what is involved in the mere statement of
that fact.
culiarities

There

are,

however, some
less striking,

of memory,

diversities and peperhaps, than those

just referred to,


$

which admit a more

detailed notice

156

Of circumstantial memory,
is

or that species of

memory which

i*

based on the relations of contiguity in time

arid place

ous

a species of memcry, more than usually obviin its character, which is based essenthe relations of Contiguity in time and place. tially upon -In the explanation of this fonn or species of memory, it may be proper to recur a moment to the explanations on the general nature of memory which have already been It will be kept in mind, that our remembrances given. are merely conceptions modified by a perception of the

There

and outward

relation of past time.

Removing, then, the modification

170

MEMOKY.

of past time, and the remaining element of our rememOur conceptions, it brances will be conceptions merely. is obvious, cannot be called up by a mere voluntary eftbe existence of a conception necesfort, because to will the actual existence of the conception alsarily implies ready in the mind.

They

arise in the

mind, therefore,

in

obedience to the influence of some of those^ principles of And ASSOCIATION which have already been considered. will assume a peculiarity of aspect

Memory, accordingly,

which predomcorresponding to the associating principle If it be based, for instance, on the law of Coninates.
it will deal chiefly with mere facts, and theix outward incidents and circumstances, without entering it will be what may be deeply into their interior nature, in described, not merely as an obvious and practical, but, If it be based as a circumstantial memory. particular, it may be expected to exchiefly on the other principles, hibit a less easy and flexible, a less minute and specific, but a more' philosophical character. That species of memory which is founded chiefly on the law of contiguity, and which is distinguished by its will be found to prespecificalness or circumstantiality, vail especially among uneducated people, not merely artisans and other labouring classes, but among all those, in whatever situation of life, who have either not possessed, or possessing, have not employed, the means of intellect* ual culture. Every one must have recollected instances

tiguity, as

of the great readiness exhibited by these persons, in theii recollection of facts, places, times, names, specific arrangements in dress and in buildings, traditions, and local inciIn their narrations, for instance, of what has come within their knowledge, they will, in general, be found to specify the time of events; not meiely an indefinite or approximated time, but the identical year, and month, and day, and hour. In their description of persons and of the dress and equipage of places, and in their account of places, they persons, and of the localities and incidents
dents.

are found to be no less particular.


157
Illustrations of specific or circumstantial

rnemoiy

The

great masters of

human nature (Shakspeare among

MEMORY.
others)

171
their

have occasionally indicated

knowledge

of

Mrs. Quickly, in reminding Falmarriage, discovers her readiness of recollection in the specification of the great variety of circumstances under which the promise was made. Her recollection in the case was not a mere general remembrance of the solitary fact, hut was, in the manner of a " Thou didst witness in a court of justice, circumstantial.
tins species of memory. staff of his promise of
a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in Dolphin at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, on Wedchamber, when the prince broke thy head nesday in Whitsun week,

swear to

me on

my

The for likening him to a singing man of Windsor." coachman in Cornelius Scriblerus gives an account of " Two men what he had seen in Bear Garden fought for a sergeant in the guards ; a prize one was a fair man, the other black, a butcher ; the sergeant had red trousers,
:

the butcher blue; they fought upon a stage about four the butcher in the leg." o'clock, and the sergeant wounded
_

158.

Of philosophic memory,

or that species of

memory which is

based

on other relations than those of contiguity.

There is another species of memory, clearly distinguishable from the CIRCUMSTANTIAL memory, which may be described as the Philosophic. This form of memoiy, relying but seldom on the aids of mere Contiguity, is sustained
fhiefly

by

Cause and

the relations of Resemblance, Contrast, and The circumstantial memory, which Effect.

deals almost exclusively with minute particulars, and eswhich are accessible by the outward pecially with those the purpose of those persons in senses, admirably answers found. But mere contiguity in time whom it is

commonly

and place, which is almost the sole principle that binds and events in the recollection of those whose together facts powers are but imperfectly developed, possesses compar-

He

in the estimation of the philosopher, atively little value looks more deeply into the nature of things. Bestowon what is purely outward and ing but slight attention the analincidental, he detects with a discriminating eye and oppositions, the causes and consequences of ogies It would seem that the celebrated Montaigne events. of in a more than common

was

destitute,

perhaps

degree,

172

MEMORY.

that form of reminiscence which we have proposed to He says on a designate as the circumstantial memory. " I am forced to call my sercertain occasion of himself,

names of their employments, or of the counwhere they were born, for I can hardly remember I question their proper names ; and if I should live long, whether I should remember my own name." But it does remember not notwithstanding his inability to
vants by the
tries

appear,

names and insulated


the occurrences of
to

facts, especially if
life,

they related to

common

that he

had much reason

want of memory. His wricomplain of an absolute indicate his cast of mind, that he was reflective and tings
;

speculative

and he expressly gives us to understand^that

much more interested in the study of the piincihuman nature than of outward objects. Accordples of the result was such as might be expected, that his ingly, memory was rather philosophical than circumstantial,
he was

and more tenacious of general


facts.

of specific principles than

159

Illustrations of philosophic

memory

whose remembrances consequently take the same turn, and striking advances may not be able to make so rapid in all branches of knowledge, as a person of a different Almost every department of science intellectual bias. itself to the student's notice under two forms, presents the practical and theoretical ; its facts and its rules of the one hand, and its principles on the proceeding on The circumstantial memory rapidly embraces the other. its facts and enunciating its rules practical part, seizing with a promptness of movement and a show of power which throws the philosophic memory quite into the shade. But it is otherwise when they advance into the less obvious and showy, but more fertile region of analoand principles. On this topic Mr. gies, classification, ci A man destitute Stewart has some pertinent remarks.
^

A man whose perceptions are naturally philosophic, and

of genius," [that is to say, in this connexion, of a natu" turn of mind.] may, with little effort, rally philosophic treasure up in his memory a number of particulars in he refers to no princhemistry or natural history, which

MEMORY
clple, and his facility in
[latter

173

from which he deduces no conclusion ; and from

acquiring this stock of information, may himself with the belief that he possesses a natural But they who taste for these branches of knowledge. are really destined to extend the boundaries of science,

when they
distracted,

first

enter on

new

pursuits, feel their attention

and their memory oveiloaded with facts, among which they can trace no relation, and are someIn Limes apt to despair entirely of their future progress. due time, however, their superiority appears, and arises in part from that very dissatisfaction which they at first experienced, and which does not cease to stimulate their
till they are enabled to trace, amid a chaos of apparently unconnected materials, that simplicity and beauty which always characterize the operations of na-

inquiries,

ture."
160

Of

that species of

memory

called intentional recollection

There is a species or exercise of the memory as INTENTIONAL RECOLLECTION, the explanation of which renders it proper briefly to recur again to the nature of

known

memory in

The definition of MEMORY which has general. been given, is, that it is the power or susceptibility of the mind, by which those conceptions are originated, which
are modified
tune.

by the perception of the

relation of past

This definition necessarily resolves memory, in a But it will considerable degree at least, into Association. be recollected, that our trains of associated thought are
that not, in the strict sense, voluntary; under the control of the WILL. They
is,

are not directly

come and depart

(we speak now


its

exclusively of their origination) without more than being possible for us to exercise anything an INDIRECT power over them. It follows, from these which may be regardfacts, that our remembrances also, ed in part as merely associated trains, are^ not, in ^the strict sense, voluntary ; or, in other woids, it is impossible of merely choosing to for us to remember in

remember.

To

will or

consequence to choose to remember any^

the tiling in question is already in the thing, implies that mind ; and hence there is not only an impossibility resultin ins from the nature of the mind, but also an absurdity,

P2

IV4

MEMORY.

the idea of calling up thought by a mere direct volition. Our chief power, therefore, in quickening and strengthening the memory, will be found to consist in our skill in applying and modifying the various principles or laws of
association.

what

is

And this brings us to an explanation of called INTENTIONAL MEMORY or RECOLLECTION.


161

Nature of intentional recollection.

Whenever we put forth an exercise of intentional memory, or make a formal attempt to remember some circumstance,
it

is

evident that the event in general, of

which the circumstance, when recalled, will be found to be a part, must have previously been an object of attention. That is, we remember the great outlines of some
cannot in the first instance give a complete acmake an effort to which we wish to do. recall the circumstances not remembered in two ways. may, in the first place, form different suppositions, and see which agrees best with the general outlines ; the general features or outlines of the subject being detained before us, with a considerable degree of permanency, by means of some feeling of desire or interest This method of restoring thoughts is rather an inference of reasoning than a genuine exercise of memory.
story, but

count of

it,

We

We

may, in the second place, merely delay upon those thoughts which we already hold possession of, and revolve them in our minds ; until, aided by some principle of association, we are able to lay hold of the particular ideas for which we were searching. Thus, when we endeavour to recite what we had previously committed to memory, but are at a loss for a particular passage, we repeat a number of times the concluding words of the In this way, the sentence which preceding sentence.

We

was

forgotten
162

is

very frequently recalled.

Instance illustrative of the preceding statements.

The
more

subject of the preceding section will perhaps

be

distinctly understood, in connexion with the followDr. Beattie informs us, that he was him ing illustration. self acquainted with a clergyman, who, on attack-

ed with a

fit

of apoplexv,

was found

to

being have forgotten

MEMORY

175

ull the transactions of the four years immediately preceding the attack. And yet he remembered as well as The newsever what had happened before that period.

papers which were printed during the period mentioned, were read with interest, and afforded him a gieat deal of It is further amusement, being entirely new to him. stated, that this individual recovered by degrees all he had lost ; so as, after a while, to have nearly or quite as full a remembrance of that period as others. In this instance the power of the principles of association appears

have been at first completely prostrated by the disease, without any prospect of their being again brought into This action, except by some assistance afforded them. assistance, no doubt, was conversation, the renewed notice of various external objects addressed to the senses, and leading. By reading old newspapers, and by conto

versation paiticular, he occasionally fell upon ideas which he had not only been possessed of before, but which had been associated with other ideas, forming of thought And originally distinct and condensed trains Other series again were thus whole series were restored. recovered by applying the methods of INTENTIONAL RECOLLECTION ; that is, by forming suppositions and comparing them with the ideas already recovered, or by voluntarily delaying upon and revolving in mind such trains as were Such we can hardrestored, and thus rousing up others. the main, the process by which ly doubt to have been, in

the person of

whom we

are

speaking recovered the

knowledge he had lost These views, in addition to what has now been said, may be illustrated also by what we sometimes observe in old men. Question them as to the events of early life, and at times they wall be unable to give any answer whatever. But whenever you mention some prominent incident of their young days, or perhaps some friend on whom many associations have gathered, it will often be found that their memory revives, and that they are able to state many things in respect to which they were pre*

sly silent.
163

Marks of
to

good memory

The

great purpose

which the

faculty of

memorv

is

176
subservient,
is

MEMORY.
to enable us to retain the

we

knowledge which

our experiences for future use. The prominent marks of a good memory, therefore, are these two, viz., tenacity in retaining ideas, and readiness in

have

fiorn

bringing them forward on necessary occasions. FIRST ; of tenacity, or power of retabing ideas. The impressions which are made on some minds are durable. They are like channels worn away in stone, and names engraven in monumental marble, which defy the operation of the ordinary caus2S of decay, and withstand even the defacing touch of time. But other memories, which at first seemed to grasp as much, are destitute of this
of retention. The inscriptions made upon them are like characters written on the sand, which the first breath of wind covers over, or like figures on a bank of snow, which the sun shines upon and melts. The inferiority of the latter description of memory to the former

power

must be obvious ; so much so as to require no comment. A memory whose power of retaining is greatly diminished, of course loses a great part of its value. SECOND ; of readiness, or facility in bringing forwai d

what is remernbeied. Some persons who cannot be supposed to be deficient in tenacity of remembrance, appear to fail in a confident and prompt command of what they remember. Some mistake has been committed in the arrangement of their knowledge ; there has been some defect m the mental discipline ; or for some other cause, whatever it: may be, they often discover perplexity, and remember slowly and indistinctly. This is a great practical evil, which not only ought to be, but which can, in a great degree, be guarded against. It is true, that so great readiness of memory cannot rationally be expected in men of philosophic minds as others, for the reason that they pay but little or no attention to particular facts, except for the purpose of deduBut it is no less true, cing* from them general principles. that, when this want of readiness is such as to cause a considerable degree of perplexity, it must be regarded a great mental defect. And, for the same reason, a prompt command of knowledge is to be regarded a mental excellence.

^164 Directions or lules for the improvement 01 the memory In whatever point of view the memory may be con that it is a faculty always teinplated, it must be admitted For the purpose of securing to us inestimable benefits. the most efficient action of this valuable faculty, securing and particularly that tenacity and readiness which have found been of, the following directions maybe
*

spoken worlhy of attention. or half-acquaint* a (L) Never be satisfied with partial There is no less a tendency to intelance with things.

lectual than to bodily inactivity ; students, in order to avoid intellectual toil, are too much inclined to pass on This is injurious to in a hurried and careless manner.

has the memory. Nothing," says Dugald Stewart^ such a tendency to weaken, not only the powers of invenin general, as a habit of tion, but the intellectual powers 5 Alextensive and various reading without reflection.'

"

"

ways make
over.

it a rule fully to understand what is gone Those who are determined to grapple with the whatever may be its nature, and to besubject in hand,

come master of
which were at

it,

soon feel a great interest ;

truths,

obscure, become clear and familiar. The consequence of this increased clearness and interest this is an increase of attention ; and the natural result of
first
is,

that the truths are very strongly fixed in the memory. are to refer our knowledge, as much as possi(II.) We

ble, to

general principles.
is

To

refer our
;

knowledge

to

general principles best mode of classification.

to classify

it

and

this is

perhaps the

If a lawyer or merchant

were to throw all his papers together promiscuously, he could not calculate on much readiness in finding what he might at any time want. If a man o letters were to record in a commonplace book all the ideas and he facts which occurred to bin, without any method, the greatest difficulty in applying them would experience It is the same with a memory where there is no to use. Whoever fixes upon some general princiclassification. whether political, literary, or philosophical, and colples, in relects facts in illustration of it, will find no difficulty however numerous when, without such membering them, the lecollection of them would to
;

general principles, been extremely burdensome.

178

MEMORY.

the nature of the study, and make use of (HI.) Consider which are thus afforded. This rule may be those helps illustrated by the mention of some departments of science. Thus, in acquiring a knowledge of geography, the study is to be pursued as much as possible with the It requires a aid of good globes, charts, and maps. effort of memory, and generally an unsuccessful great extent and situation of plaone, to recollect the relative numerous physical and political divisions of the ces, the The advantages of studying geogearth, from the book. are two. (1.) The^ form, raphy with maps, globes, &c., this relative situation., and extent of countries become, in of sight ; such concase, ideas, or, rather, conceptions are very vivid, and are more easily called ceptions ( 60)
to

lemembrance than others. remembrances are assisted by the law of con(2.) Our which is known to be one of tiguity in place, ( 145,) When we have once, from havthe most efficient aids.
before us, formed an acquaintance ing a map or globe with the geneial visible appearance of an island, a gulf, an ocean, or a continent, nothing is more easy than to remember the subordinate divisions or parts. Whenever we have examined, and fixed in our minds the general of a particular country, we do not appearance or outlines the situation of those countries which are
easily forget

contiguous.

We find
;

of history.
fruitless

another illustration of this rule in the reading There is such a multitude of facts in histori-

cal writings, that to endeavour to

remember them

all is

could be done, would be of very small advantage. Hence, in reading the history of any or three of the most interesting country* fix upon two make them the subject of particular attention ; epochs ; learn tho spirit of the age, and the private life and fortunes of prominent individuals ; in a word, study these but as philosophers. When periods not only as annalists,
and, if
it

them

mind can hardly fail to retain they are thus studied, the will "be a sort of landmarks ; and all the oth; they er events in the history of the country, before and afterward, will naturally arrange themselves in reference to Lhfra The memoiy will strongly seize the prominent

MEMORY.
periods.,

179

and the

in consequence of the great interest felt in them ; less important parts of the history of the country will be likely to be retained., so far as is necessary, by the aid of the principle of contiguity, and without giving them great attention. Further, historical charts or geneatrees of history are of some assistance, for a simlogical ilar reason that maps, globes, &c., are in geography. This rule for strengthening the memory will apply also " In to the more abstract sciences. every science," says " the ch. vi., ideas, about which 3,) Stewait,

are connected together by some peculiaily conversant, in one science, for instance, by asassociating principle ; sociations founded on the relation of cause and effect; in
it is

(Elements,

another,

by

lations of
165

the associations founded on the necessary remathematical truths."


for the

Farther duections

improvement of the memory.

rything has
tions.

and relaappropriate place, connexions, insulated, and wholly cut off, as it were, Nothing from everything else , but whatever exists or takes place falls naturally into its allotted position within the great Hence the rule, that events. sphere of creation and
its
is

in which things are laid up in the (IV.) The order In nature eveshould be the order of nature. memory

knowledge,

as far forth as possible, should exist mentally or subjectively in the same order as the corresponding obThe laws of the mind will be exists. jective reality found in their operation to act in harmony with the laws of external nature. They are, in some sense, the counterillustrate the benefits of of each other.

might parts the application of this rule by referring to almost any scientific article, historical narration, poem,
well-digested

We

&c.

derstood

But perhaps its full import will be more readily un by an instance of its utter violation. in the presence ^of person was one day boasting,

Foote, the comedian, of the wonderful facility he could commit anything to memory, when the modern would write down a dozen Jmes Aristophanes said he which he could not commit to memory in as prose The man of great memory accepted the minutes.

with which

many

challenge; a wager

was

laid,

and Foote produced the

180
following.

MEMORY.

" So she went into the garden, to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an apple-pie; and at the same time a great she-bear coming up the street, pops its head into the shop. What, no soap ? So he died, and she very imprudently married the barber ; and there were present the Picimunies, and the Joblilhes, and the Garyuhes, and the grand Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at the top ; and they all fell to playing catch as catch can, till the gunpowder ran out of the heels of their The story adds that Foote won the wager. And boots."
it is

very evident that statements of

this description, ut-

terly disregarding the order of nature and events, must defy, if carried to any great length, the strongest memory. (V.) The memory may be strengthened by exercise. Our minds, when lef <.o sloth and inactivity, lose their vigour ; but when they are kept in exercise, and, after performing what was befoie them, are tasked with new requisitions, it is not

easy to assign limits to their ability. This seems to be a general and ultimate law of our naIt is applicable ture. equally to every original susceptiand to every combination of mental action. In rebility., peated instances we have had occasion to refer to its The power of results, both on the body and the mind. perception is found to acquire strength and acuteness by There are habits of conception and of associaexercise. tion as well as of perception ; and we shall be able to
detect the existence
principle,

agination,

memory, we

when we come to speak of reasoning, im&c. As this principle applies equally to the
are able to secure
its

and operation of the same great

beneficial results

practising that repetition or exercise on founded.


$ 166

by which they are

Of observance of

the truth in connexion with

memory.

Another help to the memory, which has seldom been noticed, and certainly not so much as its importance demands, is the conscientious and strict observaiKe of the truth. It will be found, on inquiry, that those who are scrupulous in this respect will be more prompt and exact
in their recollections, within tlie sphere of what they undertake to remember; than others. man of this descrip-

DURATION OF MEMORY.
tion
;

181

may possibly not remember so much as others foi same conscientiousness, -which is the basis of his veteach him to reject from his racity, would instinctively
the
intellectual storehouse a great deal of worthless tiash. But within the limits which, for good reasons, undoubt-

edly,

he

exact,

much more

sets to his recollections, he will be much more to be relied on, provided there is no

been suggested

of difference. It has original or constitutional ground in regard to Dr. Johnson, that his rigid attention to veracity, his conscientious determination to be exact in his statements, was the reason, in a considerable degree, that his memory was so remarkably tenacious and minute. And the suggestion is based in sound phiIf a man's deep and conscientious regard for losophy. the truth be such that he cannot, consistently with the of his moral nature, repeat to others mere
requisitions

he will naturally give such vaguenesses and uncertainties, strict and serious attention to the present objects of inquiry
and knowledge, that they will remain in his memory afterward with remarkable distinctness and permanency.

CHAPTER VHL
DURATION OF MEMORY.
167. Restoration of thoughts and feelings supposed to

be forgotten

is another BEFOKE quitting the subject of Memory, of view not wholly wanting in interest, in which il point is susceptible of being considered ; and that is the perits past exmanency or duration of its power to call up It is said to have been an opinion of Lord periences.

there

tually to exist

continue virBacon, that no thoughts are lost ; that they and that the soul possesses within ^itself ; laws which, whenever fully brought into action, will be found capable of producing the prompt and perfect restoration of the collected acts and feelings of its whole past
existence.

with,

This opinion, which other able writers have fallen in when is clearly worthy of examination, especially

182

DURATION OF MEMORY.

we consider that it has a practical bearing, and involves Some one important moral and religious consequences. will peihaps inquire, Is it possible, is it in the nature of that we should be able to recall the millions of
things, little acts

and feelings which have tianspired in the whole course of our lives ? Let such an inquirer be induced to the memory has its fixed consider, in the first place, that are recalled ; laws, in virtue of which the mental exercises

and

be found no direct and satisfactory That of such laws ever wholly ceasing to exist. proof the operation of those laws appears to be weakened, and is in fact weakened, by lapse of time, is admitted ; but while the promptness, and strength of theii
that there can

frequency,

diminished in any assignable degree, the laws themselves yet remain. This is the view of the subaction

may be

ject

which

and,

we may venture

at first obviously and plainly presents itself; to add, is recommended by common

It is known to every one, that thoughts and feelings sometimes unexpectedly recur which had slumbered in for years. Days, and months, and years forgetfulness have rolled on; new scenes and situations occupy us; and all we felt, and saw, and experienced in those former days and years, appears to be clothed in impenetrable

experience.

But suddenly some unexpected event, the darkness. of a forest, of a house, a peculiarly sight of a waterfall, or gloomy day, a mere change of countenance, pleasant a woid, almost anything we can imagine, arouses the soul ? and gives a new and vigorous turn to its meditations.

At

such a

moment we

tions

which are made, the

are astonished at the novel revelarecollections which are called

withered hopes and perished of scenes and companionships that seemed to be sorrowSj
forth, the resurrections of

utterly lost
" Lulled in the countless chambers of the brain, Our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain

Awake
This

but one, and


its

Each stamps
is,

lo, what myriads rise " image as the other flies

perhaps, a faint exhibition of that perfect restowhich Bacon and other philosophic minds have supposed to be possible. But if the statement be
ration of thought

DURATION OF MEMORY

183

correct^ it is undoubtedly one circumstance among otheis in support of that sentiment, although of subordinate

weight.
<$

168

Mental action quickened by influence on the physical system

The ability of the mind to restore its past experiences,, depends, in some degree, on the state of the physical system. It is well known that there is a connexion existing between the mind and the body, and that a reciprocal
influence
is

exercised.
is

It is

undoubtedly true, that the

ordinarily increased or diminished, acAnd may as the body is more or less affected. cording not the exercise of the laws of memory be quickened, as

mental action

well as the action of other powers ? While it is admitted that an influence on the body exerts an influence on tht mind, may it not be true that this general influence sometimes takes the particular shape of exciting the recollection, and of restoring long-past events ? There are various facts having a bearing on this inquito show that such suggestions are not ry, and which seem

wholly destitute of foundation. It appears, for instance, from the statements of persons who have been on the point of drowning, but have been rescued from that situation, that the operations of their minds were peculiarly quickened. In this wonderful activity of the mental prinwhole past life, with its thousand minute inciciple, the dents, has almost simultaneously passed before them, and been viewed as in a mirror. Scenes and situations long gone by, and associates not seen for years, and perhaps buried and dissolved in the grave, came rushing in upon
the field of intellectual vision in all the activity and distinctness of real existence. If suuh be the general experience in cases of this kind, it confirms a number of important views ; placing beyond doubt that there is a connexion between the mind and of being body ; that the mental operation is susceptible and that such increase of action may be at-

quickened

tributable, in part at least, to

an influence on the body.

The proximate cause

of the great acceleration of the intellectual acts, in cases of drowning, apj/ears to be (as will be found to be the fact in many other similar cases)

184
an

DURATION OF MEMORY.

affection of the "brain. That is to say ; in consequence of the suspension of respiration, the blood is prevented from readily circulating through the lungs, and hence becomes accumulated in the brain. It would seem that the blood is never thrown into the brain in unusual quanattended with unusual mental affectities without

being

tions.
$

169

Other instances of quickened mental action, and of a restoration


of thoughts.

which has been proposed, that the mental action may be quietened, and that there may be a restoration or remembrance of all former thoughts and feelto be received or rejected in view of is

The

doctrine

ings,

undoubtedly
truth ?

facts.

as in others, is, only question in this case, And how are we to arrive at the truth ? What If the facts which have been referred to be not enough to enable one to form an opinion, there are others of a

The

is

like tendency,

disease, while at to others

a recent work (although the cause of ing passage from the mental excitement, in the instance mentioned in it, is not stated) may properly be appealed to in this connexPast feelings, even should they be those of our ion. earliest moments of infancy, never cease to be under the influence of the law of association, and they are constanteven to the latest period of life, ly liable to be renovated^ be in so faint a state as not to be the although they may object of consciousness. " It is evident, then, that a cause of mental excitement so act upon a sequence of extremely faint feelings, may as to render ideas, of which the mind had long been preThus vivid objects of consciousness. viously unconscious, it is recorded of a female in France, that while she was the memory of the Amersubjected to such an influence, ican language, which she had lost since she was a child, 5 '* suddenly returned.
170
Effect on the

and in a less uncertain form. A powerful some times it prostrates the mind, at The followit a more intense action. imparts

memory

of a severe attack of fever.

We may
*

add here the following account of the mental


T

Hibbert

Philosophy of Apparitions, part

iv.,

chapter v.

DURATION OF MEMORY.

185

" As bilious fever. very few live," he re" to record the issue of a sickness like mine, and marks, ^s you have requested me, and as I have promised to be I will relate some of the circumstances of this particular,

He was affections of an intelligent American traveller. State of Illinois, and suffered the comtravelling in the mon lot of visitants from other climates, in being taken
down with a

And it is in my view desirable, in the bitter agof such diseases, that more of the symptoms, sensaony than have been ; tions, and sufferings should be recorded
disease.

and that others in similar predicaments may know that some before them have had sufferings like theirs, and have

survived them. " I had had a fever before, and had risen and been dressed every day. But in this, with the first day, I was prostrated to infantile weakness, and felt with its first attack
that
it was a thing very different from what I had yet Paroxysms of derangement occurred the experienced. Thai third day, and this was to me a new state of mind. 3tate of disease in which partial derangement is mixed with a consciousness generally sound, and a sensibility I should suppose the most dispretei naturally excited, of all its forms. At the same time that I was

tressing unable to recognise

my

friends, I

was informed

that

my

ordinarily exact and retentive, and that I repeated whole passages in the different lan1 recited, entire accuracy. guages, which I knew with without losing or misplacing a word, a passage of poetry, which I could not so repeat after I had recovered my

memory was more than

health,"

fitc.*

$171

Approval and

illustrations of these

views from Coleridge

to the doctrine of the durabiliopinion favourable of memory, and the ultimate restoration of thought and feeling, is expressed in the BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA of on the Laws of association. In Coleridge, in an article confirmation of it, the writer introduces a statement of certain facts which became known to him in a tour in

An

ty

Germany

in 1798, to the following effect. In a Catholic town of Germany, a young

woman

of

* Flint's Recollections of the Valley of the Mississippi, letter xiv.

Q2

186

DURATION OF MEMORY

four or five-and-twenty, who could, neither read nor write, was seized with a nervous fever, during which she was

and Hebrew, with much incessantly talking Greek, Latin, and distinctness of enunciation. The case attractpomp
ed much
attention,

and many sentences which she

utter-

learned persons present, ed, being taken down by some ,vere found to be coherent and intelligible, each for itself, Of the but with little or no connexion with each other. Hebrew only a small portion could be traced to the Bible ; the remainder was that form of Hebrew which is usually and harmless, as called Rabbinic. Ignorant, and simple, this young woman was known to be, no one suspected and no explanation could for a long time \

any deception be given, although inquiries were made


in different families

for that

purpose

where she had lesided as a servant. the zeal, however, and philosophical spirit of Through a young physician, all the necessary information was in the end obtained. The woman was of poor parents, and at nine years of age had been kindly taken to be brought at some disup by an old Piotestant minister, who lived He was a veiy learned man being not only a tance.
;

also with Rabbinical wrigreat Hebraist, but acquainted The passages the Greek and Latin Fathers, &c. tings, which had been taken down in the delirious^ ravings_ of the young woman, were found by the physician precisein some books in those lanly to agree with passages which had formerly belonged to him. But these guages It appearfacts were not a full explanation of the case. on further inquiry, that the pahiarchal Protestant had ed,
'

been in the habit for many years of walking up and down a passage of his house, into which the kitchen door opened, and to read to himself with a loud voice out of his fa This attracted the notice of the poor and voorite books. domestic whom he had taken into his family ; ignorant the passages made an impression on her memory ; and although probably
recollection
stored,
for a

long time beyond the reach of her

when

and were

in health, they were at last vividly reuttered in the way above mentioned, in

onsequence of the feverish state of the physical system,,


articularly of the brain. From this instance, and

from several others of the

DURATION OF MEMORY.

l87

same kind, which Mr. Cderidge


up, he
is

asserts

can be brought

inclined to educe the following positions or infor an indefinite time, ferences.(1.) Our thoughts may, exist in the same order in which they existed originally, a feverstate. and in a latent or (2.) As

imperceptible

any other peculiaricannot create thought itself, ty in the bodily condition) nor make any approximation to it, but can only operate
ish state of the brain (and, of course,

as an excitement or quickener to the intellectual princi that all thoughts are, in pie, it is therefore probable, order greatly to inthemselves, imperishable. (3.) In crease the power of the intellect, he supposes it ^ would of its material acrequire only a different organization And, therefore, he concludes the

companiment.
final

(4)

book of

inform us judgment, which the Scriptures will at the last day be presented before the individuals of the human race, may be no other than the investment of the soul with a celestial instead of a terrestrial body ; and be sufficient to restore the perfect record of that this

may

the multitude of

its

past experiences.

He

supposes

it

may be altogether consistent with the nature of a living and eaith should sooner pass away, spirit, that heaven than that a single act or thought should be loosened and off from the great chain of its operaeffectually struck
tions.

In giving these conclusions, the exact language of the writer has not been followed, but the statement made
will
his
.$

be found to give what clearly seems

to

have been

meaning.
172
of this chapter to education Application of the principles

Whether the
forward lead

considerations

which have been brought


^

duraof memory, and of the possible restoration of all tion mental exercises, must of course be submitted to each But on the supposition that they one's private judgment. it must occur to every one, that certain^ practical do, connect themselves with this subject, applications closely The principle in question has, among other things, a of the young ; furnishing a ne\v bearing on the education it reason for the utmost circumspection in conducting in its application to the human mind The term EDUCATION,
conclusion of the satisfactorily to the

188
is

DURATIOIv OF

MEMORY.

the example and advice of very extensiye ; It includes the influence of associates, as well as more parents, and if the doctrine under direct and formal instruction. consideration be true, it follows that a single remark of a made by a parent or profligate and injurious tendency, some other person in the presence of a child, though for-

Now

be suddenly and gotten and neglected at the time, may recalled some twenty, thirty, or even forty years vividly It may be restored to the mind by a multitude of after. unforeseen circumstances, and even those of the most triand even at the late period when the voice fling kind ; that uttered it is silent in the grave, may exert a most It may lead to unkindness ; it may pernicious influence. be seized and cherished as a justification of secret moral and religious delinquencies ; it may prompt to a violaton laws ; and in a multitude of ways conduct to of
public
sin, to

Great care, therewretchedness. ignominy, and to be taken, not to utter unadvised, false, and fore, ought evil sentiments in the hearing of the young, in the vam will do no hurt, because they will expectation that they
"be

lost. speedily and irrecoverably for the same reason, great care and pains should be taken to introduce truth into the mind, and all correct moral and religious principles. Suitably impress on the mind of a child the existence of a God, and his parental the pure and benevolent outlines of the authority ; teach Redeemer's chaiacter, and the great truths and hopes of the Gospel ; and these instructions form essential links in the grand chain of memory, which no change of circumstances, nor lapse of tune, nor combination of power, can

And,

ever wholly strike out.

them

They have their place assigned and though they may be concealed, they^ cannot

be obliterated.

appropriate influence,

They may perhaps cease to exercise their and not be recalled for years ; the

business and of the cares of life may have pressure of the driven them out from every prominent position, and buBut the period of their resurrecried them for a time.
tion
is

always at hand, although

for the limited

knowledge of man

it

come

Perhaps, in the hour forth like forms and voices from the dead, and with

may not be possible to detect the signs of of temptation to crime, they


it

DURATION OF MEMORY.

189

their original freshness and power ; perhaps, in the hour of misfortune, in the prison-house, or in the land their visitations, and impart a of banishment,

more than

they pay

consolation which nothing else could have supplied ; they come with the angel tones of parental reproof and love, and preserve the purity and check the despondency of
the soul.
$

173 Connexion of this doctrine with the

final

judgment and

a future

life.

There remains one remark more, of a practical nature, he made. The views which have been proposed in restoiation of all mental experienrespect to the ultimate in accordance with the Divine ces, may be regarded as Word. It may be safely affirmed, that no mental princiis laid down m that ple which, on a fair interpretation, sacred book, will be found to be at variance with the common experience of mankind. The doctrine of the well be supBible, in respect to a future judgment, may to involve considerations relative to man's intellectto

posed

ual

and moral

plicitly

In various passages they excondition. teach that the Saviour in the last day shall judge

the world, and that all shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or wheth-

But an objection has sometimes been er they be evil. raised of this sort, that we can never feel the justice of
that decision without a knowledge of our whole past life on which it is founded, and that this is impossible. It was probably this objection that Mr. Coleridge had in the clothing of view, when he proposed the opinion, that

the soul with a celestial instead of a terrestrial body, would be sufficient to restore the perfect record of its
past experiences. In reference to this objection to the scriptural doctrine of a final judgment, the remark naturally presents itself, that it seems to derive its plausibility chiefly from an imperfect
is life,

view of the
that

thought because

we

it is

ly irrecoverable.
is

<o recall

probability wholly forgotten ; our past thoughts may be greatly diminished

utterly forgotten, But the truth seems to.be, that nothing that we shall be able the

It constitution of the human mind. cannot be conscious of our whole past and is, therefore, whol-

190

REASONING.

but it does not become wholly extinct. reminiscence slumbers, but does not die.

The power of At the Judg

to suppose, from wha* ment-day, we are entirely at liberty we know of the mind, that it will awake, that it will summon up thought and feeling from its hidden recesses the perfect form and and will present before us

clearly representation of the past. " Each fainter trace that memory holds So darkly of departed years,

In one broad glance the soul beholds, " And all that was, at once appears

CHAPTER
REASONING
174

IX.

Reasoning a source

ideas and

knowledge

LEAVING the consideration of the memory, we are next to examine the power of Reasoning ; a subject of inquiry and also consequence abundantly interesting in itself, of its being one of the leading and fruiful sources of InFor our knowledge of the opeiaternal knowledge. we are indebted, as was seen in a tions of this

faculty,

former chapter, to Consciousness, which gives us our diBut it will be rect knowledge of all other mental acts. remarked, that Reasoning is not identical with, or involved in, Consciousness. If consciousness give us a knowlof the act of reasoning, the reasoning power, opera

edge

ting within

its

own

limits

and in

its

own right,

gives us ?

knowledge of other things. It is a source of perceptions and knowledge which we probably could not possess in any other way. Without the aid of Original Suggestion, it does not appear how we could have a knowledge of our existence ; without Consciousness, we should not have a knowledge
of our mental operations ; without Relative Suggestion or Judgment, which is also a distinct source of knowledge, there would be no Reasoning ; and, unassisted by Reasoning, we could have no knowledge of the relation?

REASONING.

191

of those things which cannot be compared without the The reasoning power aid of intermediate propositions. as a new and distinct fountain is to be therefore, regarded of thought, which, as compared with the other sources of

knowledge
its

just

mentioned, opens

itself still further in the


;

recesses of the Internal Intellect

and

as

it

is later in

developement, so it comes forth with proportionally Accordingly, Degerando, in his treagreater efficiency. tise entitled De la Generation des Connoissances, expressly

and very justly remarks, after having spoken of judgment or Relative Suggestion as a distinct source of knowledge . us with "The faculty also serves to enrich
Reasoning
so complicated or renot sufficient to discovjudgment er them. series of judgments or process of reasoning But we would not be understood is therefore necessary." to limit the results of reasoning, considered as a distinct" source of knowledge, to a few simple conceptions, such as the discovery, in a given case, of the mere relation of agreement or disagreement. It sustains the higher office of bringing to light the giat principles and hidden truths of nature ; it reveals to the inquisitive and delighted mind a multitude of fruitful and comprehensive views, which could not otherwise be obtained ; and invests men, and nature, and events with a new character.

ideas

for there are

many relations
is

mote, that one act of

175

Definition of reasoning, and of propositions

may be defined the mental process or operwhereby we deduce conclusions from two or more A train of reasoning may be repropositions premised. therefore, as a whole ; and, as such, it is made "up garded,
Reasoning
ation

These elementary of separate and subordinate parts. and before we can are usually termed PROPOSITIONS parts consideration oi proceed with advantage in the further
;

into a brief explanation reasoning, it is necessary to go of them. PROPOSITION has been defined to be ^a verbal representation of some perception, act, or affection of the mind

of a Proposition, we are Accordingly, when we speak understood to mean some mental perception or usually combination of perceptions, expressed and laid out befors

192

UEASONING.

us in words. Although such ?eems to be the ordinaiy meaning of the term, we may admit the possibility of propositions existing wholly in the mind, without being exMr. Locke expressly speaks of mental pressed in words. or those states of mind where two or more
propositions, ideas are combined together previous to their being bodied and set forth in the forms of language.

im-

The parts of the proposition are, (1.) The SUBJECT, or that concerning which something is either asserted or de(2.) The PREDICATE, or nied, commanded or inquired. that which is asserted, denied, commanded, or inquired
(3.) concerning the subject two other parts are connected.

The

COPULA, by which the In these two propositions,

Men

Caesar was brave, are fallible,


;

Men, and C&sar are the subjects fallible arid brave are <he predicates; are and was are the copulas. Into SIMPLE, or Propositions hare been divided, (1.) those whose subject and predicate are composed of single
words, as in this
(2.)
:

Benevolence

is

ccrnmendable.

Into COMPLEX, or those where the subject and a number of words, as in this : predicate consist of Faithfulness in religion is followed by peace of mind. where the copula is qualified by some (3.) Into modal, word or words, representing the manner or possibility of the agreement or discrepancy
predicate, as in these
:

between the subject and


;

Men
'

of learning can exert an influence


just.

Wars may sometimes be

PROPOSITIONS, more or less involved, are necessary parts in every process of reasoning. They may be compared
to the separate and disjointed blocks of marble which are destined to enter into the formation of some edifice ; the

completed process of reasoning


sitions are the materials.
Process of the mind

is

the edifice, the propo-

176

all

cases of reasoning-

Leaving the consideration of its subordinate parts or elements, we are further to consider the general nature
of reasoning; in other words,

we

are to examine the

193
character of the complex mental piocess involved in that term. The definition given of reasoning, it will be remembered, was, that it is the mental process by which we deduce conclusions from two or more propositions Hence there will be in every such piocess a premised. succession of propositions, never less than two, and often

a much greater number. The propositions often follow each other with much regularity ; and hence not unfreconsider the arrangement of them as entirely This is a mistaken supposition. It is true, when a number of ideas or propositions are presented aearly at the same time, the mind puts forth a volition, or exercises choice, in selecting one idea or proposition in preference to another. But the ideas or propositions from which the choice is made, and without the presence of which it could not be made, are not brought into exist ence by a direct volition, and, therefore, mere arbitrary creations ; but are suggested by the laws of association

quently

we

arbitrary.

177

Illustration of the preceding statement

As an illustration of what has been said, we will suppose an argument on the justice and expediency of capiThe disputant first tal punishments in ordinary cases. denies, in general terms, the right which social combinations have assumed of capitally punishing offences of a But, before considering the cases he has slight nature. particularly in view, he remarks on the right of capital
for murder ; he admits, we will suppose, that He then the principle of self-defence gives such a right. takes up the case of stealing, and contends that we have no right to punish the thief with death, because no such right is given by the laws of nature ; for, before the formation of the civil compact, the institution of property, as a matter of civil and judicial regulation, was not known. He then considers the nature of civil society, and contends that, in the formation of the social compact, no such extraordinary power as that of putting to death for stealing, or other crimes of similar aggravation, could have been implied in that compact, because it never was possessed by those who formed it, &c. Here is an argument, made up -vf a number of propo-

punishment

194
sitions,

REASONING

and carried on, as may be supposed, to a \ ery .And in this argument, as in ali considerable length. others, every proposition is, in the first instance, suggested by the laws of association ; it is not at all a matter of The disputant first states the inquiry arbitrary volition.
he then considers the particular case ; of murder; the crime of theft is next considered; and this is examined, first, in reference to natural law, and And this consecuafterward in reference to civil law. tion of propositions takes place in essentially the same way as when the sight of a stranger in the crowd suggests the image of an old friend, and the friend suggests the and the village suggests an anvillage of his residence, cient rum in its neighbourhood, and the ruin suggests It is true that other warriois and battles of other days. the same time, propositions may have been suggested at and the disputant may have had his choice between them, but this was all the direct voluntary power which he posin general terms

sessed.
178

Giounds of the selection of propositions

are presented to the mind by the principles of association ; the person who carries on the process of reasoning makes his selection among them. But it is reasonable to inquire. How it happens that there is such a suitableness or agreement in the propositions, as

A number of propositions

they are successively adopted into the train of reasoning 1 this seems to be no other than to inquire into the circumstances under which the choice of them is made, or the grounds of the selection.

And

is some general subject on which the evidence is made to bear ; there is some In reference to these point in particular to be examined. outlines we have a prevailing and permanent general

er

Let it be considered, then, that moral or demonstrative, there

in all arguments,, wheth-

desire. This desire is not only a great help in giving quickness and strength to the laws of association, but exercises also a very considerable indirect influence in giving an appropriate character to the thoughts which are suggested by those laws Hence the great body of the propositions which are at such times brought up, will

REAbOMNG.

195

be found to have a gi eater or less reference to the genThese are all very lapidly compared by the eral subject. mind with those outlines in regard to \vhich its feelings of desire aie exercised, or with what \ve usually teim me
point to be proved.

Heie the mind,

in the exercise of

that susceptibility of feelings of relation which we have already seen it to possess, immediately discovers the suit-

of suitableness, the agreement or want of the propositions piesented to it, to the agreement., This perception of agreement or disageneral subject. which is one of those relative feelings of which greement, the mind is, from its very nature, held to be susceptible, exists as an ultimate fact in our mental constitution. Ah that can profitably be said in relation to it, is the mere statement of the fact, and of the circumstances undei which it is found to exist. Those pi opositions which are judged by the mind, in the exercise of that capacity which its Creator has given it, to possess a congruity or agreement with the general subject or point to be proved, are permitted by it to enter in, as continuous paits of the arthis way a series of propositions rises gument. And all having reference to one ultimate purpose, regular, up, appropriate, and in their issue laying the foundation of This explanation will the different clegiees of assent apply not only to the supposed argument in the last secof
1

ableness or

want

which is an instance uf moral reasoning, but will hold good essentially of all other instances, of whatever The difference in the various kinds of reasoning kind. consists less in the mental process than in the nature of the subjects compared together, and in the conditions attion,

tending, them.
<

179. Reasoning implies the existence of antecedent or assumed


propositions

In attempting to give some explanation of the reasonthat reasoning, ing power, it is to be remarked fuither, both in its inception and its prosecution, has this characin a great degree, teristic, that it necessarily proceeds, As eveiy deductive process implies a upon assumptions. of course, be some comparison of propositions, there must, the aid of which the companion is given, by
propositions

196

REASONING.

must be something assumed as known, prosecuted. There unknown. Accordby means of which to find out what is assumed propositions (either those which are known ingly, to be true, or, foi the purposes of argument, are regarded are always found at the commencement of the as
such)
series;

and they aie

also introduced

frequently in

its

especially

But the propin Moral reasoning progress, particularly ositions which are assumed are not always expressed ; those which, from the circumstance of their
convictions of the unbeing representative of elementary PRIMARY TRUTHS. derstanding, are denominated "In every process of reasoning," says Abercrombie, " we proceed by founding one step upon another which has gone before it ; and when we trace such a process backward, we must arrive at certain truths which are rec-

no proof and admit* ognised as fundamental, requiring ting of none."


ISO. Further considerations on this subject.

that reasoning proceeds upon asnot necessaiily follow that it prosumptions, it does ceeds upon propositions which are unknown or doubtful! The propositions which are referred to, are assumed in reference to the reasoning power, and not in reference
to other sources

But when we say

possesses besides reasoning.

of knowledge which the understanding Whatever things are known

whatever are known by Conby Original Suggestion, sciousness, or by the direct communication of the Senses, or by undoubted Memory or Testimony, as they cannot
be
its

made

lief

clearer by reasoning, but fully command our beof themselves, are at once adopted by reasoning into

own

processes,

and employed

as helps in eliciting the

remote and unperceived truths which it is in search of. But, as has been intimated, this adoption is not always a formal and acknowledged one, but often silently and by No one would think of formally and repeatimplication. an argument, the truth edly enunciating, as he advances in
of his

own existence or of his personal identity and not much more would he think of enunciating that every effect
?

has

its cause, or that nature is uniform in her operations, 01 that a combination of means conspiring to a particular end

REASONING.

197

indicates intelligence ; truths which are so essential and familiar to the human intellect, that we daily base the conclusions upon them, while, at the same most

important

time,

we

scarcely think of their existence.


$
1

81

Of

differences in the

power of reasoning

faculty of reasoning exists in different individuals very different degrees. There is the same diversity here which is found to exist in respect to every other menIn some persons it tal susceptibility and mental process. is not even powerful enough to meet the ordinary exigencies of life, and hardly rescues its possessor from the imputation of idiocy ; In otheis, it elevates human nature, and bestows extraordinary grasp and penetration. And between the exti ernes of extraordinary expansion and
in

The

of distinct grades, imbecility, there are multitudes almost eveiy possible variety. It will This difference depends on various causes. ( 1.) depend, in the first place, on the amount of knowledge which the reasoner possesses. No man can permanently sustain the reputation of great ability in argument without having previously secured a large fund of knowledge as And we may add, that no man can reason well its basis.

marked

on any given subject, unless he has especially prepared All leasoning imhimself in reference to that subject. of ideas or, more properly, a comparplies a comparison
;

ison of

Of

propositions, or of facts stated in propositions. course, where there is no knowledge on any given

subject,

where there

be no
is

possibility of reasoning

much

ment That many persons speak on subjects which are proposed to them without having made any preparation, cannot be denied ; but there "is a vast difference between declamation and a_ well-wrought argunoisy, incoherent
ment,
i

limited, will be propoitionally diminished.

no accumulation of facts, there can and where the knowledge the plausibility and power of the arguis
;

made up of suitable propositions, following each ther with a direct and satisfactory reference to the conIn every case of reasoning*, the mind passes' succlusion. involved in the argucessively along the various topics ment ; and, in so doing, is governed by the principles of

198
association, as

REASONING.

to notice already had occasion can there possibly he for the operBut what opportunity

we have

when the mind is called to fasten to decide upon that subject, upon a subject, and without any knowledge of those circumstances which its relations and may be directly embraced in it, or of
ation of these principles,
itself

ond place, on the power of attention and memory. There are some persons who seem to have no command of the ATTENTION. Eveij thing interests them slightly, and nodeoiee. They are animated by no strong thing in a high entermto no subject lequmng long-continufeeling ; and ed and abstiact investigation with a suitable intensity of A defective remembrance of the numerous facts ardour. r and propositions w hich come under review is the natural a perconsequence of this. And this necessarily implies and diminished power of ratiocination. plexed of difference S"HIvSsiiy in the (3.) A third ground The remark has alreaof feeling relations. susceptibility been made, ( 138,) that facts may be accumulated
to the points to be having close and decisive iclations but that they can never be so bound togethei as proved, to result in any conclusion, without a perception or feeling of those relations. But it is well known, whatever it may

tendencies 1 (2.) Tl>e

power of reasoning

will depend, in the sec-

dy

be owing

to,

that the relations of objects are


cleaily

much more
others.

readdy and

perceived by some than by

As, therefoi e, every tram of reasoning implies a succession or series of relative peiceptions, a defect in the power of relative suggestion necessarily implies a defect in the And, on the other hand, a great reasoning power. quickness and clearness in the perception of relations is

with an necessarily attended (other things being equal)

augmented

efficiency of reasoning.
182.

Of

habits of reasoning.

But whatever may be the mental traits that render, in more or less effiparticular cases, the reasoning power
cient, its efficacy will

undoubtedly depend, in a great de-

The effect of frequent practice, resulting gree, on Habit. in what is termed a HABIT, is often witnessed in those who

REASOMXG.
that what follow any mechanic calling, where we find was once done with difficulty comes in time to be done The muscles of such perwith great ease and readiness. and sons seem to move with a kind of instinctive facility of those works to which they in the

performance accuracy have been for a long time addicted. There is a similar effect of frequent practice in the increase of quickness and facility in our mental operations; and certainly as much so in those which are implied in a person has If, for instance, reasonino- as ia any others. of going through geometrical never been in the habit and with difdemonstrations, he finds his mind very slowly to another ; while, on the advancing from one step ficulty other hand, a peison who has so often practised this speadvancies of argumentation as to have formed a habit, to ces forward from one part of the train of reasoning And the result another with great rapidity and delight In the Is the same in any process of moral leasomng. of any argument of a moral natuie, there ^is
prosecution of the congruity of its necessarily a mental perception several parts 3 or of the agreement of the succeeding
^

proposition with that


i

which went before. The degree^ of eadmess in bringing together propositions., and in putting forth such perceptions, will greatly depend on the degree of practice.
$

183

Of reasoning

in

connexion with language or expression,

There is the great instrument of reasoning. indeed be a deductive process which is purely menmay In the tal ; but, in point of fact, this is seldom the case. is often use of language, it is worthy of notice, that there a want of correspondence between the purely mental proof it cess in leasomng and the outward verbal expression to state their arguments When persons are called upon

Language

often commit errors suddenly and in public debate, they which are at variance with the prevalent opinion of their This is par ticularly^ true good sense and mental ability. of men who are chiefly engaged in the ordinary business constant of life, or are in any situation where there is a The conclusions at which such persons call for action. but they arrive may be supposed to be generally correct.,

200

REASONING.

to state clearly and corfrequently find themselves unable of reasoning by which they rectly to otheis the process Oliver Cromwell, the famous English arrived at them. to whom this Protector, is said to have been a person The complicated incidents statement would well apply. of his life, and the perplexities of his situation, and his evince that he possessed a clear great success, sufficiently into events, and was in no respect deficient in uninsight
to express his opinderstanding ; but when he attempted ions in the presence of otheis, and to explain himself on he was confused and obscure. His question* of policy, insinuated itself into the intricacies of a mind

icadily he could assert with confidence that he subject; and while had arrived at a satisfactoiy conclusion, he could not so the direction he had taken, or the readily describe either involutions of the journey." All accounts," says

Mr

Cromwell a tiresome,^ ark, agree in ascribing to even when he had no intention to unintelligible elocution,

Hume,"

disoniseliis

meaning

were ever, in yet no man's actions

such a variety of

difficult cases,

more decisive and

judi-

184

Illustration of the foregoing section

Such instances are not unfrequent. Mr. Stewart somewhere mentions the case of an English officer, a friend of Lord Mansfield, who had been appointed to the gpvernment of Jamaica. The officer expressed some doubts of
his competency to pieside in the court of chancery. Mansfield assured him that he would not find the difficul" to " as he imagined. Tiust," said he, youi ty so great own good sense in forming your opinions, but beware ol The judgments of your judgments. stating the grounds will probably be right ; the arguments will infallibly be

wrong."

The

in giving a prompt and correct verbal expression to the internal trains of thought, is probawant of practice of that kind, and bly owing in part to a

engaged in

perplexity, active

which
life,

is

so often experienced

by men

in part to certain mental habits, led, from their situation, to form

which they have been and strengthen. In a thousand emergencies they have been obliged to act with

DEMONSTRATIVE REASOXEsG.
at the quickness, and,

201

same time, with cautioo 5 in other words, to examine subjects, and to do it with expedition. In this way they have acquired exceeding readiness in all The consequence ot this is, that the their mental acts. numerous minute cu cumstances, involved more or less in are passed in review with of difficult all
subjects
inquiry,

so very small a degree the such rapidity, and are made of separate attention, that they vanish and are forobjects Hence these persons, although the conclusion to gotten. which they have come be satisfactory, aic unable to state to otheis all the subordinate steps in the argument. and fahly before Everything has once been distinctly their own minds, although with that great rapidity which as statheir is argument^ always implied MI a H\BIT ; but ted in words, owing to their inability to arrest and imbody all the evanescent processes of thought, appears to others detective and confused.

CHAPTER

X.

DEMONSTRATIVE REASONING.
185

Of

the subjects of demonstrative reasoning

IN the remarks which have hitherto^ been made, the has been taken up in the most gensubject of leasoning The considerations that have been eral point of view. in the main, to reasoning in all proposed are applicable, But it is necessary, in order to possess a more its forms.
full

and

ine it

under the two prominent heads of Moral and De-

of this subject, to satisfactory conception

exam-

monstrat ve.

There are various particulais in which moral and demonstrative reasoning differ from each other j the consideration of which will suggest more fully their distinctive nature. Among other things, DEMONSTRATIVE reasoning differs from any other species of reasoning in the subjects The subjects are abstract about which it is
employed.
ideas,

and the necessaiy

relations

among them.

Those

202

DEMONSTRATIVE REASONING.

ideas or thoughts are called abstract which are representas can ative of such qualities and propeities in objects be distinctly examined by the mind separate from othei and pioperties with which they aie commonly qualities And there may be reckoned, as coming within united. and of geothis class of subjects, the properties of numbers
metrical figures
ty, foices,
3

also extension, duration, weight, velocifar as

&c. so

of being accuthey are susceptible

numbeis or other mathematical signs. rately expressed by But the subjects of moral leasoning, upon which we are of fact, to remark hereafter more particularly, are matteis their connexion with other facts, whether conincluding and all attendant ciicumstances. That stant or
variable,

the exterior angle of a triangle is equal to both the intewithin rior and opposite angles, is a truth which comes of demonstration. That Homer was the authe province thor of the Iliad, that Xerxes invaded Greece, &c., are
to moral leasoning. inquiries belonging
4 186

Use of

definitions and

axioms

in

demonstrative reasoning

In ever}* piocoss of reasoning, there must be, at the commencement of it, something "to be pi oved ; there must
also

be some things,

either

known

or taken for granted

as such, with

which the comparison of the propositions


in demonstrative reasonpreliminary tmths

in o~s are involved in such definitions as are found in all mathematical treatises. It is impossible to give a dem-

begins.

The

onstiation of the properties of a circle, paiabola, ellipse, or other mathematical figuie, without fiist having given a definition of them. DEFINITIONS, theiefoie, are the facts demonstrative reasoning, assumed, the FIRST PRINCIPLES

from which, by means of the subsequent steps, the concluWe find something entirely similar in sion is derived. of the application of a respect to subjects which admit different form of reasoning. Thus, in Natural Philosophy,
the general facts in relation to the gravity and elasticity From of the air may be considered as first principles. these principles in Physics are deduced, as consequences, the suspension of the mercury in the barometer, and its
fall

when

carried

We must not

up

to

an eminence.

forget here the use of

axioms

in the

dem-

DEMONSTRATIVE REASONING.

203

Axioms are certain self-ev onstrations of mathematics. ident propositions, or propositions the tiuth of which is " discos ered by intuition, such as the following : Things equal to the same, aie equal to one another;" "Fiom
equals take
erally find

genaway equals, and equals remain." a numbei of them prefixed to treatises of ge-

We

ometry, and other treatises involving geometrical princiand it has been a mistaken supposition, which has ; long prevailed, that they are at the foundation of geometples
rical and of all other demonstrative But reasoning. axioms, taken by themselves, lead to no conclusions. With their assistance alone, the truth, involved in propositions susceptible of demonstration, would have been be-

their use, although misunderstood. They are properly and originally intuitive perceptions of the truth ; and whether they be expiessed in words, as we generally find them, or not, is of but little consequence, extheir nature

yond GUI reach. But axioms are by no means without

may have been

cept as a matter of convenience to beginners, and in givBut those intuitive perceptions which ing instruction. are always implied in them aie essential helps; and if r by their aid alone w e should be unable to complete a

we should be equally unable without them. begin with definitions ; we compare together sucand these intuitive cessively a number of propositions ;
demonstration,

We

perceptions of their agreement or disagreement, to which, when expressed in words, we give the name of axioms,

attend us at every step.


6

187.

The

opposites of demonstrative reasonings

absmd

In demonstrations we consider only one side of a quesit is not ; necessary to do anything more than this. The first principles in the reasoning are given ; they are
tion

not only supposed to be certain, but they are assumed as such ; these are followed by a number of propositions in succession, all of which are compared together; if the conclusion be a demonstrative one, then there has been a clear perception of certainty at every step in the train. Whatever may be urged against an argument thus con1 ducted is of no consequence ; the opposite of it will a -

204

DEMONSTKATIYJB: REASONING.

ways imply some

Thus, the proposition that true fallacy. three angles of a triangle are not equal to two right which are the opposite of angles, and other propositions, what has been demonstrated, will always be found to be inand also to involve an absurdity ; that is,
^

false,

are^

consistent with, and contradictory to, themselves. But it is not so in Moral Reasoning. And here, theretbie,

we

find a

maiked

distinction

forms of ratiocination.

We

between the two great


arrive at a conclusion

may

on a moral subject with a great degiee of certainty; not a doubt may be left in the mind ; and yet the opposite of that conclusion may be altogether within the limits of We have, for instance, the most satisfactory
possibility.

have been
tion, viz.,

evidence" that the sun rose to-day, but the opposite might true, without inconsistency or contradic-

any That the sun did not lise. Again, we have no doubt of the great law in physics,- that heavy bodies dea line directed towards its centre. scend to the earth But we can conceive of the opposite of this without involvIn other words, they or absurdity. ing any conti adiction have been subjected, if the Creator had so determight mined, to the influence of a law requiring them to move in a different direction. But, on a thorough examination of a demonstrative process, we shall find ourselves unable to

admit even the possibility of the opposite.


18$ Demonstrations do not admit of different degrees of belief

our thoughts are employed upon subjects which the province of moral reasoning, we yield we form opinions more or less different degi ees of assent Sometimes our belief is of the lowest kind ; probable.

When

come within

New evidence nothing more than mere presumption. it new strength ; and it may go on, from cne degives to another, till all doubt is excluded, and gree of strength It is different in demall possibility of mistake shut out.the assent which we yield is at all times of onstrations the highest kind, and is never susceptible of being regaided as more or less. This results, as must be obvious on the slightest examination, from the nature of demonstra;

tive reasoning.

In demonstrative reasonings

we

always begin with

DEMONSTRATIVE REASONING.

205

certain fust piinciples or truths, either known or taken for hold the first place, or are the foundgranted ; and these ation of that series of propositions over which the mind In it rests in the conclusion. successively passes until the first pnnciples, of which we here speak, mathematics,

lie the definitions.

We
all to

begin, therefoie, with

be true or certain.

what is acknowledged by At every step theie is an intui-

tive perception of the

piopositions
ly,

agreement or disagreement of the which are compared together. Consequenthowever far we may advance in the comparison of

them, there is no possibility of falling shoit of that degree of assent with which it is acknowledged that the series commenced. So that demonstrative certainty may be at the judged to amount to this. Whenever we ainve last step, or the conclusion of a series of propositions, the mind, in effect, intuitively perceives the relation, whether coincidence or want it be the agi eement or disagreement, of coincidence, between the last step or the conclusion, and the conditions involved in the propositions at the commencement of the series ; and, therefore, demonstrative certainty is virtually the same as the certainty of intuition. Although it arises on a different occasion, and to a separate consideration, there is Is, therefore, entitled no difference in the degree of belief.
9

189

Of the use of diagrams

jn

demonstrations.

In conducting a demonstrative process, it is frequently the case that we make use of various kinds of figures or The proper use of diagrams, of a square, cirdiagrams. we delineate before cle, triangle, or other figure which and us, is to assist the mind in keeping its ideas distinct, to help in comparing them together with readiness and correctness. They aie a sort of auxiliaries, brought in to the help of our intellectual infirmities, but aie not absolutely necessary

ever

it

may be

since demonstrative reasoning, where; found, resembles any other kind of reason-

in being a coming in this most important respect, viz., parison of our ideas. In proof that artificial diagrams are only auxiliaries, and are mt essentially necessary in demonstrations it

MORAL REASONING.

maybe

remarked, that they aie necessarily

It imperfect. power of man

all of them within the capability of the wit and is not to fiame a peifect circle, or a perfect tri-

other figuie which is peifect. might angle, or any this from oui geneial knowledge of the imperfecargue as a tion of the bouses; and \\e may almost legaid it determined by expenments of the senses themmatter " There never was/' selves, aided bj optical instruments. u a sti or circle, that we aight line, triangle, says Cudwoi th, saw in all our lives, that was mathematically exact ; but the help of microscopes, at least even sense
itself,

We

by

much unevenness, ruggedness, flexmight plainly discover in them."* megulaiity, and deformity
uosity, angulosity,

Our reasonings,
apply
to tiie

figures^

perfect figure.
internally

and our conclusions, will not before us, but merely to an imagined The mind can not only oiigmate a figure
theiefore,

but can ascribe to it the attria verbal statement of the properties oi this imagined perfect figure is what we understand by a DEFINITION, the use of which, in this kind of has aheady been mentioned in

and

subjectively,

bute of perfection.

And

reasoning-

particular,

CHAPTER XL
MORAL REASONING,
190 Of the subjects and importance of moial reasoning

MORAL

REASONING, which

is

the second great division or

kind of reasoning, concerns opinions, actions, and events ; those subjects which do not come embracing, in general, The within the province of demonstrative reasoning.
subjects to

which

it

relates are often briefly expressed,

by

nor would this defisaying that they are matters offact ; idea nition, concise as it is, be likely to give an erroneous of them. Skill in this kind of reasoning is of great use in the formation of opinions concerning the duties and the gen* Treatise concerning Irrnrmtable Morality, bk
iv
,

ch

MuUAL REASONING.
eral conduct of

207
apt to think, that demonstrative rea-

those

Some may "be life. who have been most piactisedin

adapting their intellectual soning can find no difficulty This opinion is habits to matters of mere probability. not altogethei well founded. Although that species of leasonmg has a favourable result in giving persons a some other respects, command over the attention,, and some whenever exclusively emplo}ed it has the effect, degree, to disqualify them foi a correct judgment on those vanous subjects which propeily belong to moral reasonThe last, theiefbre, which has its distinctive name ing. from the primary signification of the Latin MORES, viz.,

manners, customs, &c., requires a separate consideration.


<5>

191

Ot tVc natuie of moral certainty

sent,

Moral reasoning causes m us different degrees of asand in this lespcct difTeis fiom dcmonsti ative. In demonstration there is not only an immediate perception

of the relation of the piopositions but, in consequence of their abstiact

compared together; and determinate na-

ture, there is also a knowledge or absolute certainty of In moral reasoning their agi cement or disagi eement. In both kinds the case is somewhat different. begin

we

with certain propositions, which are either known or regarded as such. In both there is a series of propositions But in moral reasoning, in consuccessively compared. sequence of the propositions not being abstract and fixed,
and, therefore, often uncertain, the agreement or disagree-

ment among them is, in general, not said to be known, but presumed ; and this presumption may be more or less,
While, therefore, admitting a great variety of degrees. one mode of reasoning is attended with knowledge, the other can pioperly be said to produce, in most cases, only judgment or opinion. But the probability of such judgment or opinion may sometimes arise so high as to exAnd hence we then speak clude all reasonable doubt.
as if

we

possessed ceitainty in respect to subjects which

admit merely of the application of moral reasoning. Al though it is possible that there may be some difference between the belief attendant on demonstration and that produced by the highest probability, the effect on our

208
feelings
is,

MOKAL REASONING.
at

should doubt the existence of the cities of London and Pekm, although he has no other evidence of it than that of testimony, would be considered haidly less singular and unreasonable than one who might take it into his head to doubt of the propositions of Euclid. It is this

any

rate, essentially the

same.

man

who

which very high degiee of probability


*

we

term moral

ert flinty.
$

192

Of reasoning from analogy


to

MOIUL
and of

REASONING admits of some subordinate divisions;


first

these, the

be mentioned

is

reasoning fiom

\void analogy is used with some vagueanalogy. either greater ness, but, in oenei al, denotes a resemblance, observed a consistency and uniformity or less. Having in the operations of the physical world, we are naturally led to presume that things of the same natuie will be affected in the same way, and will pioduce the same effects ; and also that the same or similar effects are to be attrib-

The

the ti ulh oi umveisal gravitation is oi this sort. He proves that the planets, in their revolutions, are deflected towards the sun in a mannei prec sely similar to the deflection of the eaith towards the same luminary ; and also that there is a Minilar deflection of the moon towards the earth, and of a body piojected obliquely at the earth's surface towaids the eaith's centre. Hence he infers by analog}', that all these deflections oiiginate from the same cause,
7

ANALOGICAL SEASONING, therefore, is uted to like causes. that mental process by -\\hich unknown truths or conclusions me miened iiom the resemblance of things. establishes The by which Sir Isaac Newton

argument

or are governed

by one and the same law, viz., the power There are a variety of subjects, both specof gravitation. ulative and practical, in respect to which we may reason in this way, and sometimes with considerable satisfaction.
It is

nevertheless true, that

much

care

is

necessary
sci

in

arguments drawn from this source, especially in The proper use of analogical entific investigations.
scientific inquiries

rea-

soning in
trate

seems

to be,

merely

to illus-

which are susceptible of proof from other sources of evidence, either by casting a direct additional ligjht or by answering objections.

and confirm

truths

MORAL REASONING
<J

209

193

Of reasoning by induction

We now
viz.,

come

to another

method of moral leasomng,

is the inferring of geneial truths fiom particular facts that have fallen under our observation. Our experience teaches us that natuie is governed by uniform laws ; and we have a film expectation, (whether it be an original principle of our constitution, or whatever may be the origin of it,) that events will happen in futui e, as we have seen them happen in times past. With this state of mind we are prepared to deduce inferences by induction. 7 hen a property has been found in a number of subjects of the same kind, and nothing of a contradictory nature appears, we have the strongest expectation of finding the same property in all the individuals of the same class ; in other words, we come to the conclusion that the propeity is a general one. Accoidingly, we apply a magnet to seveial pieces of iron ; we find, in every instance, a stiong atti action taking place; and we conclude, although we have made the expeiiment with only a small number of the masses of iron actually in exist-^ ence, that it is a property of iron to be thus affected by that substance, or that all iron is susceptible of magnetiThis is a conclusion drawn by induction. cal attraction. The belief which attends a well-conducted process of inductive leasomng bears a decided character ; it is moral probability of the highest kind, or what is sometimes term-

by

induction.

Inductive reasoning

ed moral certainty

and

is at

least found to

be

sufficient

r e obtain all the general for all practical purposes. truths relating to the properties and laws of material ob-

jects in this

way.

thus not only acquire a knowledge of material in the objects, but apply the same inductive piocess also of laws winch govern the operations of the investigation mind. It is by experience, or obseiving what takes place
in a

And we

number of individuals, that general law of association, viz.,

we

when two

are able to infer the or more ideas

have existed

the mind in immediate succession, they are afterward found to be mutually suggested by each It is the same in ascertaining other other. general laws

of the mind

S2

210
194

MORAL REASONING.
Of combined
or accumulated arguments
is

When
strated,
it

sometimes happens that two or more solutions he oflererl leading to the same end. The theorem may or the problem is one and the same, as also the conclusion ; but theie may be more than one train of reasoning, more tnan one sei ics of intermediate steps connecting the with the result. proposition which is to be investigated But as the conclusion in each of these different cases is certain, it does not strengthen it, although it may gratify

a proposition in geometry

given to be demon-

and additional process. curiosity to resort to a different The great difference It is not thus in moral reasoning. between the two kinds of reasoning, as before observed, is not so much in the mental process as in the subjects

about which they are employed. Now, as the subjects moral reasoning are not of a purely abstract nature, and our belief, are, therefore, often attended with uncertainty, when we arrive at the conclusion, is not always of the More frequently it is some inferior degree highest kind. of probability. Hence^ in any moral inquiry, the more numetous the seiies of arguments which terminates in a will be our belief in particular conclusion, the stronger
the truth of that conclusion.

Thus we may suppose a question to arise, Whether the Romans occupied the island of Great Britain at some peto the Saxon conquest? In reference to be inqmiy a number of independent arguments may brought forward. ( 1.) The testimony of the Roman hisand entonans. (2.) The lemams of buildings, loads, campments, which indicate a Roman ongin. (3.) The Although coins, urns, &c., which have been discovered. these arguments aie independent of each other, they all bear upon the same conclusion ; and, being combined to-

nod previous
this

of our gether, they very essentially increase the strength


belief.

PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS IN REASONING.

CHAPTER

XII.

IBACTICAL DIRECTIONS IN REASONING.


195
Rules reldting
to the practice of reasoning

VARIOUS directions have been given by writers on Loit may be remarked here, is only another gic, (which, name for whatever concerns the nature, kinds, and appliis to secure the use of the reasoning powei. It is but natuial to suppose, that some of these dialectical rules are of gi eater, and otheis of less value. Such as appeared to be of the least questionable impor-

cations of Reasoning,) the object of

which

moie prompt, accurate, and

efficient

tance, are bi ought together and explained in this chapter ; nor will this occasion any surprise, when it is recollected

has been the object ol this woik thioughout, not what the mental opeiations are, but, by practical suggestions from time to time, to promote what is of a good, and prevent what is of a hurtful tendency in such operations. The directions now refeired to have, of course, a more intimate connexion with Moral than with Demonstrative reasoning ; but this is a circumstance which enhances rather than diminishes their worth. The occasions which admit and require the application of moral reasoning, being inseparable from the most common occurrences and exigences of life, are much more numerous than those of demonstrative reasoning.
that
it

only to ascertain

19G
(I.)

Of being
fiist

influenced in reasoning by a love of the truth.

wall

which be given, concerns the feelings with which it is proper to be animated. It is this. In all questions which admit of discussion, and on which we find ourselves at variance with the opinions of others, we are to make truth our object. The opposite of a desire of the truth is a wish to decide the subject of dispute in one way rather than another, independently of a just consideration of the evidirection in relation to reasoning

The

PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS IN REASONING.

dence. The foundation of such a preference of one result to another are, in general, the prejudices of interest and enemies of truth. Whenpassion ; and these are the gi eat ever we are under their influence, we form a different estimation of testimony, and of other sources of evidence, from what we should do under other circumstances ; and at such times they can hardly fail to lead us to false reThis rule is important on all occasions of reasonsults. whatever, but particularly in public debate ; because ing at such times the presence of others and the love of vicinfluences to intory combine with other unpropitious or to disregard the claims which truth duce men to
forget
is

always
o

entitled to enforce.
to

197 C^re

be used

coircctly stating the subject of discussion,

Another rule in the prosecution of an argument is, (II.) that the question under debate is to be fairly and correctly The matter in controversy may be stated in such stated. a way as to include, in the very enunciation of it, somelead to a thing taken for gi anted, which must necessarily But this decision in favour of one of the opponents.
arao unts to begging the question, a species of fallacy or sophism upon which we shall again have occasion to reSometimes the subject of discussion is stated so maik.
It

at issue is wholly left out carelessly, that the true point may be pioper, therefore, in many cases, to adopt the

then they can haid? %! of directing what is truly the subject of contention. In order that there may not be a possibility of misunderstanding here, dialecticians should aim to have clear ideas of everything stated in the question whiqh I as an intimate connexion with the point at issue. Subordinate parts of the question, and even particular words, are to be examined. If, for instance, the statement affirm or deny anything in regard to the qualities or properties of material bodies, it is incumbent upon us to possess as clear ideas as possible, both of the object in general, and of those properties or qualities in particular. Similar re marks will apply to other subjects of inquiry of whatevthey
differ.

practice of special pleadeis, and first to ascertain all the points in which the opponents agree, and those in which

And

f-heir

aiguments

to

er

kind

PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS IN REASONING


198
(III.)

213

Consider the kind of evidence applicable

to the subject

As one subject clearly admits of the application

of one species of evidence, vlule another as cleaily icqunes evidence of a different kind, we are thence enabled are to consider what kind to lay down this mle, viz., OL evidence is appropriate to the question under discus-

We

sion.

the inquiry is one of a purely abstract nature, the piopositions involved in the reasoning are of the same kind, then we have the evidence of Intuition or intuitive perception ; and the conclusion, for reasons alIn the examination of the ready mentioned, is certain.

When
all

and

properties of material bodies, we depend originally on the evidence of the Senses ; which gives a character and strength to our belief, according to the circumstances un-

In judging der which the objects are presented to them. of those facts in events and in the conduct of men which have not come under our own observation, we rely on TesThis souice of belief causes probability in a timony.
greater or less degree, according as the testimony is from one or more, given by a person who understands the sub-

ject to

And again, some it relates, or not, &c. admit of the evidence of Induction, and in resubjects spect to others we have no other aids than the less auwhich
fi om Analogy. In other cases, the wholly made up of various incidental circumstances, whicfi are found to have relation to the subject in hand, and which affect the belief in different degrees and

thoritative reasonings

evidence

is

for various causes.

hence, as the sources of belief, as well as the behave an intimate connexion wr ith the subject beThe fore us, they ought to be taken into consideration. evidence should be appropriate to the question. But if the question admit of more than one kind of evidence,
lief itself,

And

then, all are entitled to their

due weight
arguments or sophisms

199

Reject
is

tlie

aid of false

a species of false reasoning which wr sophism is an argument which contains some secret fallacy under the general appearance oi The aid of such arguments, which are ralcorrectness.
(IV.
)

There

caJi a SOPHISM.

214

PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS IN REASONING.

culated to deceive, and are, in general, inconsistent with a love of the truth, should be rejected. IGNORATIO ELENCHI, or misappi ehension of the
(1.)
It exists when, is one instance of sophism. fiom some misunderstanding of the terms and phrases that are employed, the arguments advanced do not truly apply

question,

to the point in debate.

It

was

a doctrine, for instance,

of some of the early philosophic teachers of Greece, that theie is but one principle of tilings. Aristotle, underwe commonly exstanding by the word piinciple what to show the conpress by the woid ELEMENT, attempted elements are not one, but many ; thus trary, viz., that the of IGNORATIO ELENCHI; for those inclining the imputation who held the doctrine which was thus subjected to his the aniraadveision, had leference, not to the forms, but
cause of things
rial

particles,

not to any doctrine of elementary matebut to the intellectual ongin, the creative
;

mind, the Supreme Being,, whom, as the PRINCIPLE, (that the suppoit of things ) they mainis, as the beginning and tained to be one/ or begging of the question, is (2.) Pi'/rmo pRixcjrn, This sophism is found anothei instance of sophism. whenever the disputant offeis, in pi oof of a proposition, The following has the proposition itself in other \\ orcls.
?

been given as an instance of this fallacy in reasoning person attempts to prove that God is eternal, by mainand withtaining that his existence is without beginning out end. lleie the proof which is offered, and the proposition itself which is to be proved, aie essentially the When we are told that opium causes sleep, besame.
:

has a sopoufic quality, or that grass grows by its vegetative power, the same thing is repeated This fallacy is very frequently practised ; in other terms. and a little care in detecting it would spoil many a fine saying, as well as deface many an elaborate argument What is called arguing in a circle is a species of soph' ism very neaily i elated to the above. It consists in making two propositions reciprocally prove each other. (3.) NON CAUSA PRO CAUSA, or the assignation of a false
cause
it

means of

La Logique ou

L'arc de Penser, (Port Royale,) part in

chap xix

PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS IN KEASO.NLVG.


cause. People are unwilling to be thought ignorant; rather than be thought so, they will impose on the cieduof their fellow-men, tind sometimes on themselves,

lity

false causes of events. Nothing is more than this sophism among illiterate people ; pnde is not diminished by deficiency of leaimng, and such such causes people, therefore, must giatify rCby assigning T of events as they find neaiest at hand. Hence, w hen the a famine or a wai, appearance of a comet is followed by are disposed to consider it as the cause of those ca-

by assigning

common

they

lamities.

If

a person have committed some flagiant

after suffer some heavy distiess, it is no uncommon thing to hear the former assigned as the This was the faldirect and the sole cause of the latter. which historians have ascnbed to the Indians of lacy to be Paraguay, who supposed the baptismal ceremony the cause of death, because the Jesuit missionaries, when-

ciime,

and shortly

ever oppoitumty offered, administered it to dying infants, to adults in the last stage of disease. of sophistry is called FALLACIA (4.) Another species iall into this kind of false reasoning ACCIDENTIS. whenever we give an opinion concerning the general nature of a thing from some accidental circumstance. Thus, the Christian religion has been made the pretext foi and has, in consequence, been the source of

and

We

persecutions,

much

but it is a sophism to conclude that it is, suffering on the whole, not a great good to the human race, because it has been attended with this perversion. Again, if a medicine have operated in a particular case unfafavourvourably, or, in another case, have operated very
;

or reception of ably, the universal rejection

it,

in conse-

result in a paiquence of the favourable or unfavouiable ticular instance, would be a hasty and fallacious induc-

tion of essentially the

same

nature of the thing

is

That is, the general sort. estimated fiom a circumstance

which may be wholly accidental.


terms and phrases $ 300. Fallacia equivocations, or the use oi equrvocal

direction of much practical impor(V.) It is a further of tance, that the reasoner should be careful, in the use to express everything v/ith plainness and prelanguage,

PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS IN REASONING.


vision

and, especially, never attempt to prejudice the of truth, and snatch a surreptitious victory by the cause No man of an enlaruse of an equivocal phraseology. and cultivated mind can be ignorant that multitudes
;

language admit of diversities of sigTheie aie found also in all languages many nification. and words, which sometimes agree with each other, differ in signification, according to the connexsometimes ion in which they appear, and their particular application. There is, therefore, undoubtedly an oppoi tunity, if any should be disposed to embrace it, of employing equivocal and mysterious terms, equivocal phrases, and perplexed combinations of speech, and thus hiding themselves from under cover of a mist of the light of tiuth,
in every

ged of words

penetrating

their

own

raising.

No man, whose
soit to

sole object

is

truth

and

justice, will re-

such a discreditable subterfuge. If, in reasoning, he finds himself inadvertently employing words of an it will be a first care with him to equivocal signification, the misapprehensions likely to lesult from guard against

He will explain so precisely the sense in that source. which he uses the doubtful terms, as to leave no probaand mistake. bility of cavilling
$

201

Of

the sophism of estimating actions and character from the

cir-

cumstance of success merely.

aie some of the fallacies in rea(VI.) The foregoing which have found a place in writers of Logic. soning To these might be added the fallacy or sophism to which men aie obviously so pi one, of judging favourably of tnc characters and the deeds of otheis from the mere

Those actions which have a circumstance of success. are almost always apdecidedly successful termination and are looked upon as the result of great intelplauded, lectual torecasi ; while, not less frequently, actions that hav3 ?ji unsuccessful issue are not only stigmatized as evil in themselves, but as indicating in their projector a The fallacy^ however, ill-balanced mind. flighty and does not consist in taking tne issues or results into consideration, which are undoubtedly entitled to their due place in estimating the actions and characters of men, but in

too

much

linr ting our

view of

things*

and

forming-

fi

ft*

PRACTICAL DULECTIOXS IN REASONING.

217

vourable or unfavourable judgment fiom the mere circumstance of good or ill success alone. Wlule there is no SOPHISM more calculated to lead astray and perplex, there is none more common than this; so much so, that it has almost passed into a proverb, that a hero must not only be brave, but fortunate. Hence it is that Alexander is called Great because he gained victories and overran kingdoms ; -while Charles XII. of Sweden, who the most nearly resembles him in the characteristics of biavery, perseverance, and chimerical ambilion, but had his projects cut short at the fatal battle of Pultowa, is called a madman. " Machiavel has justly animadverted," says Dr. Jonn" on the different notice taken by all succeeding son, times of the two great projectors Catiline and Caesar. Both formed the same project, and intended to raise themselves to power by subverting the commonwealth.

with equal abilities but Catiline perished in the field, and Caesar returned from Pharsaha with unlimited authority; and fiom that time, every monaich of the earth has thought himself honoured by a comparison with Cssar ; and Catiline has never been mentioned but that his name might be applied to traitors and incendiaries,"

They pursued
and equal

their design, perhaps,


;

virtue

202

Of adherence

to

our opinions

Whenever the rules laid down have been followed, and conclusions have been formed with a careful and candid regard to the evidence presented, those opinions are to be asserted and maintained with a due degree of confidence.
It would evince an unjustifiable weakness to be driven from our honest convictions by the effrontery, or even by Not the upright though misguided zeal, of an opponent. that a person is to set himself up for infallible, and to suppose that new accessions of evidence are impossible, or that it is an impossibility for him to have new views of the evidence already examined. But a suitable degree of stability is necessary in order to be respected and useful ; and, in the case supposed, such stability can be exhibited without incurring the charge, which is sometimes thiowu

out, of

doggedness and intolerance.


,

218

PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS

IN

REASONING.

It is further to

pointed out, when objections are afterward raised which The person thus attack\ve cannot immediately answer.

relinquish judgments

be observed, that we are not always to which have been formed in the way

ed can, with good reason, argue in this way I have once examined the subject carefully and candidly; the eviof beardence, both in its particulars and in its multitude has had its wr eight ; many minute and evanescent ings, circumstances were taken into view by the mind, which have now vanished from my recollection ; I therefore dc
: r

not feel at liberty to alter an opinion thus formed, in which I am consequence of an objection now brought up, unable to answer, but choose to adhere to my present this objecjudgment, until the whole subject, including This reasoning would in most tion, can be re-examined. cases be correct, and would be entirely consistent with
that love of truth

and openness

to conviction

which ought

ever to be maintained.
$

203

Effects on the

mind of debating

foi \ ictory

instead of truth

By way of supporting the remaiks under the first rule we here introduce the subject of contending for victory He who contends with this object, takes every merely. advantage of his opponent which can subserve his own
For instance, he will demand a species of proof purpose. or a degree of proof which the subject in dispute does not admit; he gives, if possible, a false sense to the words and statements employed by the other side ; he questions

which he himself fully believes and everybody else, the expectation that the opposite party is not furnished In a word, with direct and positive evidence of them.
facts
in

wherever an opening presents, he takes the utmost advantage of his opponent, however much against his own internal convictions of right and justice. Such a course, to say nothing of its moral turpitude, effectually unsettles that part of our mental economy which concerns the grounds and laws of belief. The practice of inventing cunningly devised objections against arguments known to be sound, necessarily impairs the in^ JGhaence which such arguments ought to exert over us. Hence the remark has been made with justice, that per

IMAGINATION.

21

sons

who
in

addict themselves to this practice frequently

end

ed, that they at last question the existence of any fixed ground of belief in the human constitution, and begin to doubt

becoming skeptics. They have so often perplexand apparently overthrown what they felt to be true,

of everything. This effect, even when there is an undoubted regard for the truth, will be found to follow from habits of ardent disputation, unless there be a fiequent recurrence to the original principles of the mind which relate to the The learned Chilhngworth is nature and laws of belief. an instance. The consequences to which the training up of his vast powers to the sole art of disputation finally " Mr. led, are stated by Clarendon. Chillingworth had all his time in disputations, and had arrived spent younger at so great a mastery that he was inferior to no man in those skirmishes ; but he had, with his notable perfection in this exercise, contracted such an irresolution and habit of doubting, that, by degrees, he became confident of Neither the books of his adversaries nor any of nothing. their persons, though he was acquainted with the best of All his both, had ever made great impression on him. doubts grew out of himself, when he assisted his scruples with all the strength of his own reason, and was then too

hard

for himself."

CHAPTER

Xffl.

IMAGINATION.
$

204

Imagination an intellectual rather than a sensitive process

LEAVING the subject of reasoning, we next proceed to the consideration of the Imagination ; which, as well as the reasoning power, obviously comes under the general head of the Intellect rather than of the Sensibilities. It is true, we are apt to associate the exercises of the heart with those of the imagination, and undoubtedly we have some reason for doing so ; but in doing this we are liable

220

IMAGINATION.

But they

not merely to associate, but to identify and confound them. An exercise of are, in fact, essentially different.

the Imagination, in itself considered, is purely an intelThe process may, indeed, be stimulated a movement of the sensibilities ; there and accelerated
lectual process.

by

various extraneous influences operating either to increase or to dimmish its vivacity and energy ; but the

may be

from contingent cirprocess itself, considered separately cumstances, is wholly intellectual. So that he who possesses a creative and well-sustained imagination, may be to possess a powerful said, with no small degree of truth, whatever toipidity may characterize the region intellect,
of the affections.
205

The imagination
is

closely lelated to the reasoning

power

not only entitled to be ranked under the general head of the Intellect, in distinction from the Sensibilities ; but it is to be remarked further, which may perhaps have escaped the notice of some, that it posmode of its action, a sesses, especially in the process or with the reasoning power. It is a remark close

The imagination

affinity

ascribed to D'Alembert, whose great skill in the mathematics would seem to justify his giving an opinion on such a subject, that the imagination is brought into exercise in geometrical processes ; probably true, so far as some of the mental acts involved in imagination, such as association and the perception of relations, are

which

is

concerned. And, in illustration of his views, he intimates, in the same connexion, that Archimedes the geomis best entitled etrician, of all the great men of antiquity, Certain it is, that, to be placed by the side of Homer.* in some impoitant respects, there is an intimate relationin question, the deductive and ship "between the powers They both imply the antecedent exercise imaginative. of the power of abstraction $ they aie both occupied in new combinations of thought from the elements

framing already in possession

they both put in requisition, and in

the powers of association and relprecisely the same way, ative suggestion. But, at the same time, they are separ-

ated from each other and characterized by the two circumstances, that their objects are different, and that they
"

bteAoiiS

K^

Cii.ul

Ei$serLi.t*n-~Fm'atorv

IMAGINATION.

on different materials. Reasoning, as it operate, in part, to give us a knowledge of the truth, deals exclusiveaims or less probable. Imagination, as it ly with facts more to give pleasure, is at libeity to tianscend aims chiefly the limits of the world of reality, and, consequently, often
deals with the

mere conceptions of the mind, whether

01 not. Accordingly, the one they correspond to reality ascertains what is true, the other what is possible; the office of the one is to inquiie, of the other to create ; reawithin the limits of what is known and soning is exercised of the imagination is actual, while the appropriate empire of the conjectural and conceivable. the region

206

Definition of the pcn\er of imagination

Without delaying longer upon the subject, which, howthe place which imever, is not without its importance, of
in a philosophical classification agination ought to occupy of the mental powders, we next proceed to consider more

what imagination is, and in what manner it exercise of the mind, Imagination is a complex operates. are combined toby means of wliich various conceptions The conceptions have so as to form new wholes.
particularly as the materials from properly enough been regarded which the new creations aie made ; but it is not until after the existence of those mental acts which are implied hi every process of the imagination, that they are^ fixed out from their state of singleupon, detained, and bi ought ness into happy and beautiful combinations.

gether,

Our conceptions have been compared to shapekss " which require little stones, as they exist in the quarry, convert them into common more than mechanic labour to rise into palaces and temples only at dwellings, but that That rude and the command of architectural genius." little more than mechanic effort, which converts the shapeless stones

of the quarry into co\nnion dwellings,

may

when divested of its metaphorical justly be considered, of this mental property as aspect, a correct representation the it exists among the great mass of mankind ; while architectural genius which creates palaces and temples is the well-furnished and sublime imagination of poets, pain'ers, and orators.

T2

222

IMAGINATION.

menial operaimagination as a complex because it implies, in particular, the exercise of the those conceptions which power of association in furnishing are combined together; also the exeicise of the power of means of which the combination is relative
tion,

We speak of

suggestion,

by

effected.

<J

207

Process of the mind in the creations of the imagination

may assist us in more fully understanding the nature of imagination, if we endeavour to examine the intellectual operations of one who makes a formal effort at writhe production he has in view^be poetical or ting, whether other kind. of some person cannot ordinarily be supto sit down to write on any occasion whatever, posed whether it involve a higher or lesser degree of the exercise of the imagination, without having some general idea to be written upon already in the mind. of the
It

accordingly commences the task before him with the expectation and the desire of developing the subject more or less fully, of giva greater continuity and a better aring to it not only interest in every respect. rangement, but an increased As he feels interested in the topic which he proposes to write upon, he can, of course, by a rneie act of the will, been able in the first instance although he might not have to have originated it by such an act, detain it before him for a length of time. Various conceptions continue, in the mean while, to arise in the mind, on the common principles of association; but, as the general outline of the subject re-

The general

subject idea, or the subject supposed to be already present.

its outlines.,

must be

He

mains fixed, they all have a greater or less relation to it. And partaking in some measure of the permanency of the outline to which they have relation, the writer has an opportunity to approve some and to reject others, acor unsuitacording as they impress him as being suitable Those which affect him ble to the nature of the subject. with emotions of pleasure, on account of their perceived fitness for the subject, are retained and committed to writhus affect and interest ting; while others, whir-h do not Wbr<?ver carefully no nim, soon fade away altogether.

IMAGINATION
ticcs the operations of his elroit at composition, will e
this,

223

an probably be well satisfied that anoi'Mt of the intellectual pioccss is veiy neat the

own mind, \vhen he makes

h uth.
<?

203

Further rcinaiks on the same subject

process, therefore., stated in the most simple and first think of some subconcise terms, is as follows. With the on 2;inal thought or design of the subject,

The

We

ject.

a coexistent desire to investigate it, to adorn it, The effect of it to the examination of others. this desire, followed and aided as it naturally is at such times by an act of the will, is to keep the general subject in mind ; and, as the natural consequence of the exercise
there
is

+o present

of association, \aiious conceptions arise, in some way or Of some of these other related to the general subject. conceptions we approve in consequence of their perceived fitness to the end in view, while we reject others on account of the absence of this requisite quality of agreeableness or fitness.

For the sake of convenience and brevity we give the this complex state or series of states of the mind. It is important to possess a single term ex-

name of IMAGINATION to

pressive of the complex intellectual process ; otherwise, as we so frequently have occasion to refer to it in com-

should be subjected, if not properan unnecessary multipliBut while we find it so much for our cation of words. convenience to make use of this term, we should be careful and not impose upon ourselves, by ever remembering that it is the name, nevertheless, not of an original and independent faculty, which of itself accomplishes a21 that has been mentioned, but of a complex or combined action of a number of faculties.
conversation,
at least to ly to a circumlocution,
$ 209. Illustration from the writings of

mon

we

Dr Reid

Dr. Reid (Essay iv., ch. iv.) gives the following graph-, ical statement of the selection which is made by the writer from the variety of his constantly arising and depart" seem to treat the thoughts, that ing conceptions.

We

present themselves to the fancy in crowds, as

a great man

224

IMAGINATION.

treats those [courtiers] that attend his levee. They arfe He goes round the circle, all ambitious of his attention.

asks a bestowing a bow upon one, a smile upon another, short question of a third, while a fouith is honoured with a particular confeience, and the greater part have no
particular

maik of attention, but go as they came. It is he can give no mark of his attention to those who true, were not there ; but he has a sufficient number for making
a choice
'
,

and

distinction."
to

210 Grounds of the preference of one conception

another
is

all arises, On what principle to ascertain that congruity or incongruity, fitness or unfitncss, agreeably to which it makes the selecThe fact is admitted., tion from its various conceptions ?

A. question after

the

mind enabled

conceptions moie Is one imaire in the group thought or known to be or why aie any two imaworthy than an) oilier image, in preference to any two otbeis? ges combined together The answer is, it is owing to no secondary law, but to an instantaneous and original suggestion of fitness or unfitThose conceptions which, by means of this originess. nal power of perceiving the lelations of things, are found to be suitable to the general outlines of the subject, are Those images which are perceived to possess detained. a peculiar congruity and fitness for each other, are united
together, forming

that the intellectual principle is successively in a series ^of other words, that there are successive different states, or, or images, but the inquiry still lemains,

Why

new and more

beautiful

compounds.

"While others, although no chiectly voluntary power apeither class, are neglected and pears to be exercised over But no account of this vivid feelsoon become extinct. of this very rapid perceping of approval or disapproval, tion of the mutual congiuity of the images for each other or for the general conception of the subject, can be given, other than this, that with such a power the original author of our intellectual susceptibilities has been pleased to form us. This is our nature here we find one of the
;

elements of our intellectual efficiency; without it we might still be intellectual beings, but it would be with the loss both of the reasoning power and of the imagination.

IMAGINATION.
$ 211
Illt'ilrat'on of
t

225

ie

subject from Milton

Las been said can peihaps be made plainer, by ionsideiing" 111 what way Milton must have proceeded forming his happy description of the Garden of Eden.

What

He had formed, in the first place, some geneial outlines of the subject; and as it was one which greatly inteiested his feelings, the interest which was felt tended to keep If the feeling of interthe outlines steadily befoie him. est was not sufficient to keep the general subject before the mind, he could haidly fail to detain it theie by adding the influence of a direct and decisive act of the will Then the principles of association, which are ever at work, brought up a great vanety of conceptions, having a relation of some kind to those general features ; such as con
ceptions of rocks,

and woods, and

rivers,

and green

lea% es,

and golden

fruit.

The next stop was the exercise of that power which we have of perceiving relations, which we sometimes denominate the Judgment, but more appropiiately the susceptiRelative Suggestion. By means oi able to determine, whether the conceptions wilich were suggested were suitable to the general design of the description and to each other, and
bility or power of this he was at once

whether they would have, when combined together to form one pictuie, a pleasing effect. Accordingly, those which weie judged most suitable were combined togethei as parts of the imaginary creation, and were detained and fixed by means of that feeling of interest and those acts of the will which were at first exercised towards the more prominent outlines merely ; while others speedily disappeared from the mind. And thus arose an imaginary landscape, glowing with a greater variety and richness of beauty, more interesting and perfect, in every respect, than we can ever expect to find realized in nature.
$ 212

The

creations of imagination not entirely voluntary,

the explanation which has been given of the operations of the power under consideration, it will be seen
that, in its action,

From

The

it is subject to limitations and restrictions. opinion, that even persons of the most ready and fruitful imagination can form new imaginary creations

226
'

IMAGINATION.

whenever they choose, hy a mere volition, however wide have prevailed, does not appear to be well ly it may founded. In accordance with what may be regarded as
the common opinion, we will suppose, as an illustration of what we mean, that a person wills to imagine a sea of melted brass, or an immense body of liquid matter which

has that appearance. The very expressions, it will be since the noticed, are nugatory and without meaning, jsea of brass which the person wills to conceive of or imagine, the proposition, already present is, by the very terms of to his thoughts. Whatever a person wills, or, rather, professes to will to imagine, he has, in fact, already imaginas ed; and, consequently, there can be no such thing which are exclusively the result of a direct

imaginations act of the will. So that the powers of invention^ although the influence of the indirect and subordinate action of the will may be considerable, must be aroused and quickened to their highest efforts in some other way. And this view admits of some practical applications. Men of the greatest minds (great, we mean, in the walks of literature) are kept in check by the principles which are involved in the exercise of imagination. Genius, whatever capabilities we may attribute to it, has its laws. to every standard work of the And it is true, in

regard

an arbitrary and imagination, that it is the result, not of unexplamable exercise of that power, but of a multitude of circumstances, prompting and regulating its action; such as the situation in life, early education, domestic habits, associates, reading, scenery, religion, and the influence of local superstitions and traditionary incidents. These are like the rain and sunshine to the earth, without

which

it

necessarily remains in

its

original barrenness,

giving no signs of vivification and beauty. In the matter of creative power, Bunyan will bear a comparison, undoubtedly, with Walter Scott ; but Scott, in the situation in which he was placed, and with the habits of thought and feeling which he cherished, could not have written the Pilgrim's Progress ; nor could Bunyan, on the other hand, have written the Heart of Mid Lothian ; not be-

cause either of them was destitute of the requisite degree of imagination, but because the creations of the imagina-

IMAGINATION.

227

tion always have \. relation to circumstances, and are not the result of a purely arbitrary act of the will.
213. Illustration of the statements of the preceding section.

It

would be an easy matter, and not without

interest,

whom
to

to illustrate this fact in the operations of the mind by a reference to the private history of those individuals from the great works of literature have originated. But, as this does not come within our plan, we will refer merely

sino-le instance.

Moore

relates, in his life

of Lord

he found him occupied Byron, that on a certain occasion with the history of Agathon, a romance by Wieland. And, from some" remarks made at the time, he seems to be of opinion that Byron was reading the work in question as a means of furnishing suggestions to, and of quick-

He then adds, I ening, his own imaginative powers. am inclined to think it was his practice, when engaged in the composition of any work, to excite his vein by the the same subject or plan, from which perusal of others on the slightest hint caught by his imagination, as he read, was sufficient to kindle there such a train of thought as,
but for that spark, had never been awakened.'* This is said of a distinguished poet Painting is an art kindred with poetry ; and both are based on the imAccordingly, the remarks which have been
^

"

agination.
art

made apply
"

also to painting, and, indeed, to every other

essentially on the imaginative power. " is one of the Invention," says Sir Joshua Reynolds, if we consult experience, we great marks of genius ; but, shall find that it is by being conversant with the inventions of others that we learn to invent, as by reading the

which depends

It is in vain for learn to think. thoughts of others we to endeavour to invent without materials painters or poets on which the mind may work, and from which invention must originate. Nothing can come of nothing. Homer to have been possessed of all the learning of is
his

supposed time ; and

we

are certain that Michael

Angelo and

Raffaelle were equally possessed of all the knowledge in the art which had been discovered in the works of their 5* predecessors.' * Discourses before the Royal Academy, VL

228
$

IMAGINATION.
214

On

the utility of the faculty of the imagination

We have proceeded thus far in endeavouring to explain


the nature of imagination
;

and we here turn aside from

this general subject, for the purpose of icmarking on the this appears to be utility of this power. necessary, since there are some who seem disposed to prejudice its

And

claims in that respect. They warmly recommend the careful culture of the memory, the judgment, and the reasoning power, but look coldly and suspiciously on the
imagination, and

would

But there
this

is

ground

for

rather encourage a neglect of it. apprehending that a neglect of

noble faculty in any person who aspires to a full developement and growth of the mind, cannot be justified, either by considerations drawn from the nature of the mind itself, or by the practical results of such a course.
In speaking on the
utility

of the imagination,

it is

cer-

tainly a very natural reflection that the Creator had some design or purpose in furnishing men with it, since we find And what deuniversally that he does nothing in vain.

sign could he possibly have, if he did not intend that it should be employed, that it should be rendered active,

and trained up with a suitable degree of culture ? But if we are thus forced upon the conclusion that this faculty was designed to be rendered active, we must further suppose that its exercise was designed to promote some useful

And such, although it has sometimes been perpurpose. has been the general result verted, Nowhere is the power of imagination seen to better advantage than in the Prophets of the Old Testament. If it be said that those venerable writers were inspired, it will still remain true that this was the faculty of the mind which inspiration especially honoured by the use which
was made of
it.

And how many monuments may

every

civilized nation boast of in painting, architecture, and the imagination, in sculpture, as well as in poetry, where

contributing to the national glory, has, at the same time, contributed to the national happiness Many an hour it has beguiled by the new situations it has depicted, and the new views of human nature it has disclosed ; many a
!

pang of the heart it has subdued, either by introducing us to greater woes which others have suffered, or by ititoxi-

IMAGINATION.

eating the memory with its luxuriance and lulling it into a forgetfuiness of ourselves ; many a good resolution it has cherished, and subtending, as it were, a new and wider horizon around the intellectual being, has filled the soul with higher conceptions, and inspired it with higher Conscious of its immortal destiny, and struggling hopesagainst the bounds that limit it, the soul enters with joy into those new and lofty creations which it is the prerogative of the imagination to form ; and they seem to it a congenial residence. Such are the views which obviously present then? selves on the slightest consideration of this subject ; and it ir not strange, therefore, that we find in the writings of 10 less a judge than Addison, some remarks to this effect, that a refined imagination "gives a man a kind of property in everything he sees, and makes the most ruile, uncultivated parts of nature administer to
his pleasures ; so that he looks upon the world, as it were, in another light, and discovers in it a multitude of charms

that conceal themselves from the generality of mankind.


215. Impoitance of the imagination

connexion with reasoning.

In remaiking on the subject of the utility of the imathere is one important point of view in which it gination, is capable of being considered ; that of the relation of the imagination to the other intellectual powers. And, among other things., there is obviously ground for the remark, that

a vigorous ard well-disciplined imagination may be made subservient to promptness, and clearness, and success in The remark is made, it will be noticed, on reasoning. the supposition of the imagination being well disciplined,
it

which implies that it is under suitable control ; otherwise will rather encumber and perplex than afford aid. Take, for instance, two persons, one of whom has cul-

tivated the reasoning power exclusive of the imagination. will suppose him to possess very deservedly the reputation of an able and weighty dialectician ; but it "will be obvious to the slightest observation, that there is, in one respect, a defect and failure ; there is an evident want

We

He cannot

of selection and vivacity in the details of his argument readily appreciate the relation which the hearer's mind sustains to the facts which he wishes to pre11

230

IMAGINATION.

sent 5 and accordingly, with much expense of patience on takes up their part, he laboriously and very scrupulously

and examines everything which can come within his an equal share grasp, and bestows upon everything nearly

of attention.

And hence it is, that many persons who are acknowledged to be learned, diligent, and even successful in argument, at the same time sustain the reputano means an enviable one, of being which is
tion,

dull, tiresome,

Let us
not only
judicious

now look a moment at another person, who is a man of great powers of ratiocination, but has
and has

by and

uninteresting.

cultivated his imagination,

command.

He

casts his

it under prompt and eye rapidly over the

a correspondence ; of one part to another ; a great and combined eifect, enhanced by every suitable decoration, and undirmnished by any misplaced excrescence, which undoubtedly implies a perfection of the imagination in some degree kindred with that which projected the group of the Laocoon, crowned the hills of Greece with statues and temples, and lives in the works of renowned poets. The debater, who combines the highest results of reasoning with the of the imagination, throws the light of his highest results own splendid conceptions around the radiance of truth $ so that brightness shines in the midst of brightness, like the angel of the Apocalypse in the sun.
ferent parts of the train of reasoning

whole field of argument, however extensive it may be, and immediately perceives what facts are necessary to be what are of prominent, and stated and what are not what of subordinate importance ; what will be easily un derstood and possess an interest, and what will be diffidue value cult to be appreciated, and will also lose its from a want of attraction. And he does this on the same virtue of the same mental training principles and which enables the painter, architect, sculptor, and poet, to of grand and beautiful creations in present the outlines There is a suitableness in the diftheir respective arts.
5

DISORDERED INTELLECT! &L A./TICN.

231

CHAPTER

XIV.

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION,


(l )

EXCITED CONCEPTIONS OR APPARITIONS.

Q 216. Disordered intellectual action as connected with the body

HAVING completed our examination of the Intellect so our notice in its more frequent and regular action, we now propose to conclude the subject, by giving some instances of intellectual states which
far as it presents itself to

appear to take place in violation of


ples.

Whatever
to
it is

posed mind,

form A a matter abundantly confirmed by painful experience and observation, that its operations are not always uniform ; and that, in some cases, as we shall have occasion to see, it exhibits an utter and disastrous deviation from the laws which commonly regulate it. The causes of these deviations it may not be easy always, and in all respects, to explain ; but it is well understood, that they are frequently connected with an irregular and diseased condition of the body.

its ordinary princianticipations we might have been disPRIORI, in relation to the action of the

The mind, it will be recollected, exists in the threefold nature or threefold division of the Intellect, the SensibilThe action of the Will depends upon ities, and the Will. the antecedent action of the Sensibilities ; and that of the sensitive nature is based upon the antecedent action of the Intellect. The action of the Intellect or Understanding
is

twofold, External

and

Internal.

And we

have already endeavoured, on a former occasion, to show, that the developement of the External Underfirst

standing is first in the order of time, as it is obviously It is here, so far as the mind in the order of nature. is concerned, that we find the commencement of action but it is well understood, and seems to be entirely undeniable, that all the action which takes place here, takes The External inplace in connexion with bodily action. tellect does not act, nor is it capable of acting, although
\

232

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

the mind is so constituted that the movement of all the other parts depends upon movement here, without the an* tecedent affection of the outward or bodily senses. And hence the intellect generally, and particularly the Exter-

nal intellect, is unfavourably affected, as a general thing, in connexion with a disordered state of the bodily sys~
tern.

217 Of excited conceptions and of

apparitions in general

fact that disordered intellectual action is closely connected with a disordered state of the body, will aid,

The

in the explanation of the interesting subof EXCITED CONCEPTIONS or APPARITIONS. Conceptions, ject the consideration of which is to be resumed in the present chapter, are those ideas which we have of a$y absent

in

some degree,

In their ordinary form they have been considered in a former part of this Work. already But they are found to vary (See chapter viii, part i.) in degree of strength ; and hence, when they are at the which they are susceptible, they may highest intensity of be denominated vivified or EXCITED CONCEPTIONS. They are otherwise called, particularly when they have their
object of perception.

of sight, APPARITIONS. origin in the sense therefore, are appearances, which seem to Apparitions, be external and real, but which, in truth, have merely an interior or subjective existence ; they are merely vivid or excited conceptions. Accordingly, there may be appariwhich tions,, not only of angels and departed spirits, ^apof apparitions pear to figure more largely in the history than other objects of sight ; but of landscapes, mountains, funeral processions, rivers, precipices, festivals, armies, in a word, of all visual perceptions which^we temples; of recalling. Although there are excited are

capable and the touch, and someconceptions both of the hearing which times, though less frequently, of the other senses, our belief with unreal in reaching and succeed controlling intimations, those of the sight, in consequence of the of that organ and the frequency of the great importance connected with it, claim especial attention deceptions
6 218,

Of

the less

permanent exerted conceptions of sight

Excited conceptions, which are not permanent, but

(l.)

EXCITED CONCEPTIONS OR APPARITIONS.


distinct

233
real

In explanation of these, existence, are not uncommon. two things to he noticed. (I.) They are somethere ari times the result oi the natural and ordinary exercise of
that

have merely a momentary, although a

and

power of forming conceptions, which


a greater or
less degree.

all

sess in

We notice them particto

persons pos-

creemployed in giving existence ations that have outline and form, is generally more active than in later life. Children, it is well known, are almost constantly projecting their inward conceptions into outward space, and erecting the fanciful creations of the mind amid the realities and forms of matter, beholding of trees, and houses, men, towers, flocks of sheep, clusters

ularly in children, in power, so far as it is

whom the

conceptive or imaginative

changing clouds, in the wreathed and driven snow, in the fairy-work of frost, and in the embers and flickering flames of the hearth. This at least was the experience of the early life of Cowof a fine passage in the per, who has made it the subject poem of the Task.
varieties of landscape in the
"

Me

oft has fancy, ludicrous and wild, Soothed with a waking dream of houses, towers, Trees, churches, and strange visages expressed In the red cinders, while, with poring eye, I gazed, myself creating what I saw."

Beattie too, after the termination of a winter's storm, the shores of the Atlantic, places his young Minstrel on to view the heavy clouds that skirt the distant horizon :
'*

Where mid

Fancy a thousand wondrous forms


Rocks, torrent,

the changeful scenery ever new, descries,

Mort, wildly great than ever pencil drew, gulfs, and shapes of giant size,
glittering cliffs

And

on

cliffs,

and

fiery

ramparts rise."

not per(U.) Agsin, excited conceptions, which are manent, are frequently called into existence in connexion with some anxiety and grief of mind, or some other modification of mental excitement. person, for instance, on the seashore, and anxiously expecting the standing of approach of his vessel, will sometimes see the image and will be certain, for the moment, that he has the it, in truth, there object of his anticipations in view, although a

U2

234
is

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

no vessel in sight.

That
vessel,

is

iclea^ or

power of every one


is

to form who has previously seen one, the "rendered so intense by feelings of anxiety, as to be the effect as if the real object were present, and^ same in It is in it were actually pictured on the retina. figure of this view that we may probably explain connexion with a remark in the narrative of Mrs. Howe's captivity, who her seven in 1775 was taken prisoner, together with In the course of the St. Francois Indians. children, by she was at a certain time informed by the

image of the

which

to say, the conception, it is evidently in the

her captivity,

havIndians that two of her children were no more ; one died a natural death, and the other being knocked on ing " I did not utter the mother, the head. many words," says " but heart was pained within me, and my
sorely troubled with strange and^ awful ideas, I often imagined, for or images.] [meaning conceptions, that I plainly saw the naked carcasses of ^my instance, the limbs of trees, as the Indians children

my

mind exceedingly

hanging upon
to

are

wont

which hang the raw hides of those beasts


sound permanent excited conceptions of

they take in hunting."


219.

Of

the less

excited conceptions of sound, (we may In regard remark incidentally, as we intend to confine ourselves as was seen in a chiefly to those of sight,) they are not, former part of this Work, ( 60,) so easily called into Conseexistence, and so vivid, as visual conceptions.
to

and for quently, we have grounds for making a distinction, saying that only one of the remarks made in reference to the less permanent excited conceptions of sight will apply to those of sound. In other words, excited conwhich appear and depart sudceptions of sound (those to the subdenly, without any permanent inconvenience of them) originate in connexion with a greater or ject less degree 01 mental excitement Persons, for instance, a room, are sometimes interrupted by the sitting alone in supposed hearing of a voice, which calls to them. But, truth, it is only their own internal conception of that in consequence of some peculiar particular sound, which, mental state, happens at the moment to be so distinct, as

(I.)

EXCITED CONCEPTIONS OR APPARITIONS.

235
for a

to control theii belief


reality.

and impose

itself

upon them

This is probably the whole mysteiy of what Boswell has related as a singular incident in the life of Dr. Johnson, that while at Oxford he distinctly heard his

mother call him by his given name, although she, was at the very time in Litchfiekt The same principle explains also what is related of Napoleon. Previously to his Rus-

he was frequently discovered half recliwhere he remained several hours, plunged in profound meditation. Sometimes he started up conand with an ejaculation. Fancying he heard vulsively, his name, he would exclaim, Who calls me ? These are
sian expedition,

ned on a

sofa,

the sounds, susceptible of being heard at any time in the desert air, which started Robinson Crusoe from his sleep,

when

there

was no one on

his solitary island but himself:

" The airy tongues, that syllable men's names,

On

shores, in desert sands,

and wildernesses "

220 First cause of permanently vivid conceptions or apparitions Morbid sensibility of the retina of the eye.

have been led to see, particularly in a former chapter, ( 64,) as well as in the preceding part of this, that our conceptions or renovated ideas may be so vivid as to affect our belief for a short time hardly less power-

We

But as in the cases than the original perceptions. referred to there was not supposed to be an unsound or
fully

disordered state of the body, this extreme vividness of There are other conception was exceedingly transitory. cases of a comparatively permanent character, which are deserving of a more particular notice in the history of These last always imply a disorour mental nature. dered state of the body, which we were led to see in the Jast chapter is often attended with very marked effects on
the mind.

In attempting to give an explanation of the origin of permanently vivid conceptions, the first ground or cause of them which we shall notice is an unnatural and morbid sensibility of the retina of the eye, either the whole This cause, it is true, is in of the retina or only a part. some degree conjectural, in consequence of the retina being so situated as to render it difficult to make it a sub-

236

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

ject of observation

and experiment.

But knowing, as we

explanations place order to understand the applicability of this cause of perit is necessary manently vivid conceptions or apparitions, to keep in mind, that, in conceptions of visible objects, there is probably always a slight sympathetic affection of the retina of the eye, analogous to what exists when the In a perfectly healthy visible object is actually present. state of the body,, including the organ of visual sense, But, this affection of the retina is of course very slight under the influence of a morbid sensibility, the mere con-

disis liable to ^be do, that the nervous system generally and that the disease of" a particular portion is comeased, relation to the object monly productive of results having or uses pf that portion, we may for this reason, as well as for what we know directly and positively of the occasionaffections of the optic nerve, give it a ally disordered In of the subject before us. in the

at times impart such an increasceptions of the mind may ed activity to the whole or a part of the retina, as to give existence to visual or spectral illusions. There is an account given in a foreign Medical Journal a of Piedmont) pf (the Medico-chirurgical Repertory who attended for the first time the music of young lady, an orchestra, with which she was exceedingly pleased. She continued to hear the sounds distinctly and in their

order for weeks and months afterward, till her ^whole in consequence of it, she system becoming disordered Now we naturally suppose, in this case, that the died. nerve of the tympanum of the ear, which, both in a physiof view and in its relation to the mind, ological point to the retina of the eye, continued actually corresponds to vibrate or reverberate with the sound, although she

was no longer within hearing of it. In other words, it was diseased ; it had become morbidly sensitive, and in this state was a source of action to itself, independently
of any outward cause.
tion of sound depends

And

as the

mental state or sensa-

upon the actual condition of the the outward causes which auditory nerve, independently of may have been instrumental in producing that particular h she at first heard condition, we see how the sounds, whit for a few hours, continued for a number of months after

(I.)

EXCITED CONCEPTIONS OR APPARITIONS.

237

to

be generated and repeated. And so in regard to the It may be so morbidly sensitive, that the optic nerve. caere conception of a man or of some other visible object
it

may affect man were

as really

and

in the

same way

as if the
if

so, actually present to the sight. individual who is subject to this morbid affection has the

And

the

power in himself of originating and sustaining the representation or pictures of objects, although no such objects In other words, as these results depend upon are present. the state of his physical system and not upon volition, he will is properly said to be subject to Apparitions. in confirmation of what has been said, that in only add,

We

one of the most interesting cases of spectral illusions 01 who apparitions which has been published, the person

some subject of them expressly states, that for hours preceding their occurrence she had a pec^ihar feelhad ing in the eyes, which was relieved as soon as they passed away.*

was the

221. Second cause of permanently excited conceptions or apparitions Neglect of periodical blood-letting

But there are other causes of the mental states under consideration, which, in some respects at least, are not so
connected with the eye. One is closely and exclusively The doctrine, the neglect of periodical blood-letting. that permanently excited conceptions or apparitions are attendant on a superabundance of blood, occasioned by this neglect, seems to be illustrated and confirmed by the actual and recorded experience of various individuals, as
in the following instarice.

ments here given

of the individual to whom the statewas an inhabitant of Berlin, a celebrated bookseller, and naturally a person of a very vivid imagination. He was neither an ignorant man, nor will esteem superstitious ; a fact which some undoubtedly it important to know. The following account of the apNicolai, the

name

relate,

paritions

words.

"My

which appeared to him is given in wife and another person came

his

own

into

my

apartment in the morning, in order to console me, but I was too much agitated by a series of incidents, which had
*

Brewster's Natural Magic, letter ui

238

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

my moral feeling, to be capable of attending to them. On a sudden I perceived, at about the distance of ten steps, a form like that of a deceased I pointed at it, asking my wife if she did not see person. it. It was but natural that she should not see anything; my question, therefore, alarmed her very much, and she immediately sent for a physician. The phantom continued
most powerfully affected
about eight minutes. I grew at length more calm, and, being extiemely exhausted, fell into a restless sleep, which The physician ascribed the lasted about half an hour. apparition to a violent mental emotion, and hoped there would be no return ; but the violent agitation of my mind

had

in

further consequences,
scription.

some way disordered my nerves, and produced which deserve a more minute de-

" At four in the afternoon, the form which I had seen morning reappeared. I was by myself when this happened, and, being rather uneasy at the incident, went to my wife's apartment, but there likewise I was persecuted by the apparition, which, however, at intervals disappeared, and always presented itself in a standing posture.
in the

About
first

figures,

appeared also several walking which had no connexion with the first. After the day the form of the deceased person no more appear-

six o'clock there

ed, but its place was supplied with many other phantasms, sometimes representing acquaintances, but mostly strangers ; those whom I knew were composed of living and deceased persons, but the number of the latter was comI observed the persons with whom. I paratively small. daily conversed did not appear as phantasms, these representing chiefly persons who lived at some distance from me.

" These

all

times and under

phantasms seemed equally clear and distinct at all circumstances, both when I was

by myself and
as at night,

when
in

was in company,

and

my own

as well in the day house as well as abroad ;

they were, however, less frequent when I was in the house of a friend, and rarely appeared to me in the street When I shut my eyes, these phantasms would sometimes vanish entirely, though there were instances when I beheld them with my eyes closed, yet, when they disappeared on such occasions, they generally returned when

(I.) I

EXCITED CONCEPTIONS OR APPARITIONS.

239

sician

opened my eyes. I conversed sometimes with my phyand my wife of the phantasms which at the moment

surrounded me ; they appeared more frequently walking than at rest, nor were they constantly present. They frequently did not come for some time, but always reappeared for a longer or shorter period, either singly or in

company, the
case.

latter,

however, being most frequently the


sexes, but

I generally

saw human forms of both

they usually seemed not to take the smallest notice of each other, moving as in a market-place, where all are eager to press through the crowd; at times, however, they seemed to be transacting business with each other. I also saw, several times, people on horseback, dogs, and birds. All these phantasms appeared to me in their natsize, and as distinct as if alive, exhibiting different shades of carnation in the uncovered parts, as well as different colours and fashions in their dresses, though the

ural

seemed somewhat paler than in real nature. None of the figures appeared particularly terrible, comical, or disgusting, most of them being of an indifferent shape, and some presenting a pleasing aspect The longer these phantoms continued to visit me, the more frequently did they return, while, at the same time, they increased in
colours

weeks after they had first appeared them talk \ these phantoms sometimes conversed among themselves, but more frequently addressed their discourse to me \ their speeches were comAt differmx/nly short, and never of an unpleasant turn. ent times there appeared to me both dear and sensible friends of both sexes, whose addresses tended to appease my grief, which had not yet wholly subsided their confour
I also

number about
began

to hear

solatory speeches were, in general, addressed to me when I was alone. Sometimes, however, I was accosted

ihese consoling friends while I was engaged in company and not unfrequently while real persons were speaking to

by

me.

These consolatory addresses consisted sometimes of abrupt phrases, and at other times they were regularly executed."
222. Methods of relief adopted in this^case

These are the leading

facts in this case, so far as the

"240

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

mere appearance of the apparitions is concerned. But as Nicolai, besides possessing no small amount of acquired knowledge, was a person of a naturally philosophic turn of mind, he was able to detect and to assign, the true

cause of his mental malady. He was, it is to be remembered, in the first place, a person of very vivid fancy, and hence his mind was the more likely to be affected by any number of years before the ocdisease of the body. currences above related, he had been subject to a violent cured by means of leeches ; it vertigo, which had been was his custom to lose blood twice a year, but previously

to the present attack, this evacuation

had been neglected.

a mental disorder might arise Supposing, therefore, that from a superabundance of blood and some irregularity in the circulation, he again resorted to the application of
leeches. When the leeches were applied, no person was with him besides the surgeon ; but, during the operation, his chamber was crowded with human phantasms of all In the course of a few hours, however, they descriptions. moved around the chamber more slowly; their colour
t

began

to fade, until,
1

they at last dissolved into with them afterward."*


223

growing more and more obscure, air, and he ceased to be troubled


Attacks of fever

Third cause of excited conceptions.

conceptions the sick person has, become increased in vividness, until the mind, seeming to project its own creations into the exterior space, peoples the room with living and moving phantoms. There is a statement illustrative of this view in the fifteenth volume of Nicholson's Philosophical JourThe fever in nal, a part of which will be here repeated.
this instance,
is given by the patient violent character, originating in some deep-seated inflammation, and at first affecting the mem-

In violent attacks of fever there are sometimes excited conceptions, particularly those which have their origin in the sense of sight, and are known, by way of distinction, which under the name of Apparitions. The

of which an account

himself;

was of a

ory, although not permanently.


* Memoir on the appearance of Spectres or Phantoms occasioned by Disease, with Psychological Remarks, read by Nicolai to the Roval So as quoted by Hibbert, ciety of Berlin on the 28th of February, 1799
;

pf

ob,

(i )

EXCITED CONCEPTIONS OR APPARITIONS.


this person,

241
full

"

Being perfectly awake/' says

" in

possession of memory, reason, and calmness, conversing with those around me, and seeing, without difficulty or

impediment, every surrounding object,

was

entertained

and delighted with a succession of faces, over which I had no control, either as to their appearance, continuancp
or removal.

"

suddenly, yet not so

They appeared directly before me, one at a time, very much so but that a second of time

might be employed in the emergence of each, as if through a cloud or mist, to its perfect clearness. In this state each face continued five or six seconds, and then
vanished, by becoming gradually fainter during about two seconds, till nothing was left but a dark opaque mist, in which almost immediately afterward appeared another face. All these fac es were in the highest degree interesting to me for beauty of form, and for the vaiiety of expression they manifested of every great and amiable emotion of the human mind. Though their attention was
invariably directed to me, and none of them seemed to speak, yet I seemed to read the very soul which gave animation to their lovely and intelligent countenances. Ad-

miration and a sentiment of joy and affection when each and regret upon its disappearance, kept my mind constantly riveted to the visions before it ; and this state was interrupted only when an intercourse with the The appersons in the room was proposed or urged," &c.
face appeared,
paritions

which this person experienced were not limited to phantasms of the human countenance ; he also saw phantasms of books, and of parchment and papers containing printed matter.

Nor were

these effects exclusive;

from the sense of sight a( one time he seemed to himself to hear musical sounds. That is, his conceptions of sound were so exceedingly vivid, it was in effect the same as if he had really heard melodious voices and instruments
ly confined to ideas received
$ 224-

Fourth cause of apparitions and other excited conceptions flammation of the brain.

In

n the fourth

Apparitions, and excited conceptions in general, exist, place, in consequence of inflammations and

242

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

other diseases of the brain. may infer, from certain found in his writings, that Shakspeare passages which are had some correct notions of the influence of a disordered condition of the brain on the mental operations. "We alin explanation lude, among others, to the passage where, of the apparition of the dagger which appeared to Mar

We

beth,

he

says, "A

dagger of the mind, a false creation, " Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain

Whether the seat, or appropriate and peculiar residence of the soul, be in the brain or not, it seems to be certain, that this part of the bodily system is connected, in a very intimate and high degree, with the exercises of the mind ;
particularly with perception therefore, the brain is disordered, whether

and

volition.

Whenever, by a contusion
in oth-

or
er

by a removal of part of it, by inflammation or ways, the mind will in general be affected in a

greater

or less degree. It may indeed be said, that the immediate connexion, in the cases which we now have reference of the to, is not between the mind and the substance brain, but between the mind and the blood which is thrown into that part of the system. It is, no doubt, somethat so laige a portion of thing in favour of this notion, the sanguineous fluid finds a circulation there ; it being a common idea among anatomists, that at least one tenth

of all the blood is immediately sent from the heart into the brain, although the latter is weight only about the It is to be considered fortieth part of the whole body.

also, that the effects which are wrought upon the mind by the nitrous oxide and the febrile miasma gas are caused by an intermediate influence on the blood. On the other hand, it may be said that there cannot be a great ac-

celeration of the blood's motion or increase of its volume, without a very sensible effect on the cerebral substance.
therefore, it may remain true, that very much may be justly attributed to the increase of quantity and motion the blood, and still the brain be the proximate cause of alterations in the states of the mind.

And,

m
$

225. Facts having relation to the 4th cause of excited conceptions

Bnt here we stand

in

need of

facts, as in all other parts

(l.)

EXCITED CONCEPTIONS OR APPARITIONS.

243

of this investigation. TJie following statement, selected from a number of others not less authenticated, can be citizen of Kingston -on-Hull had a quarrelied on.* rel with a drunken soldier, who attempted to enter his house by force at an unseasonable hour. In this struggle the soldier drew his bayonet, and, striking him across the temples, divided the temporal artery. He had scarcely recovered from the effects of a great loss of blood on this occasion, when he undertook to accompany a friend in

walking-match against time, in which he went fortytwo miles in nine hours. He was elated by his success, and spent the whole of the following day in drinking, &c. The result of these things was an affection, probably an inflammation, of the brain. And the consequence of this was the existence of those vivid states of mind which
his

are termed apparitions. Accordingly, our shopkeeper (for that was the calling of this person) is reported to have seen articles of sale upon the floor, and to have beheld an armed soldier entering his shop, when there was nothing seen by other persons present. In a word, he

was for some time constantly haunted spectres or imaginary appearances ; so

by a variety of much so, that he

even found it difficult to determine which were real customers and which were mere phantasms of his own mind.

The remedy
er

in this case

was

blood-letting,

and some

oth-

methods of cure which are practised in iniLunmations of the brain. The restoration of the mind to a less intense and more correct action was simultaneous with that
of the physical system.
226. Fifth cause of apparitions It is further to
Hysteria.

be observed, that people are not unfre quently affected with apparitions in the paroxysms of the For the nature disease known as HYSTERIA or hysterics. of this disease, which exists under a variety of forms, and is of a character so peculiar as to preclude any adequate description in the narrow limits we could properly allot to it, the reader is referred to such books as treat of medical subjects.

the

mind

and

This singular disease powerfully agitates its effects are as various as they are stri*
"vol.

* SPP the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal,

vi

4
,

-i88

244
king.

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

the convulsive affections come on, the paobserved to laugh and cry alternately, and altogether without any cause of a rational or moral nature ; so that he has almost the appearance of fatuity, or of betient is

When

ing delirious.
tions are
jects of
it

among

But apparitions or intensely vivid concepThe subits most striking attendants.


every description of forms
inferior
;

distinctly see

trees,

animals, balls of fire, celestial beings, &c. can, without doubt, safely refer to the experience of those who have been much conversant with instances of this disease, in confirmation of this. The existence of the states of mind under considera-

houses, men,

women, dogs, and other

We

tion might, without much question, be found, on further examination, to connect itself with other forms of disease. The subject is certainly worthy, whether considered in relation to science or to human happiness, of such further developements as it is capable of receiving.

CHAPTER XV.
DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.
(ll.)

INSANITY.
the term insanity

$ 227.

Meaning of

IN illustration of the general subject of disordered we proceed, in the next place, to the consideration of that more decided internal mental detellectual action,

rangement which

is

known

as INSANITY.

The term Insan-

indicates simply a want of ity, etymologically considered, soundness or want of health. In its application to the mind, it indicates an unsound or disordered state of the
action,- generally, however, of a more decided and deeply seated nature than that form of disordered intellect which has already been considered under the head

mental

of APPARITIONS. As the mind is complicated in its structure, existing, as it were, in various departments and subdivisions of depart-

(n.) INSANITY.

245

we now propose to mind, or exist expervade in some one of its departments. Accordingly 3 clusively either as partial or total ; inInsanity may be regarded The or only a^part^ volving either the whole mind, method which we propose to pursue in the investigation is to consider it in connexion with the of the
consider,

which merits, the disordered action, either -the whole

may

subject,

as affording, on the whole, powers of the mind separately, And it is proper to add here, the most satisfactory view. that we examine it at present only so far as it may natbe supposed to exist in connexion with the Intelurally
lect,

of leaving the consideration

it,

as

it is

occasionally

found to exist in the


place.
228

Sensibilities, to

a more appropriate

Of disordered

or alienated sensations.

It is well is Sensation. presents itself to our notice known that all the outward senses are liable to be disorto the dered, and, as the inward sensation corresponds condition of the outward or bodily organ, a disordered or of the organ of sense necessarily comirregular movement municates itself to the inward or mental state. regular or healthy sensation always has reference^ to some outward cause, (we mean here outward, even in reference to the organ of sense,) but a disease in the bodily organ disturbs this relation, and necessarily gives to the inward
first

Beginning with the External

Intellect, the

power which

mental state the character, as compared with other sensaand deceptive. Not untions, of being unreal, visionary, in itself, but because it intimates a rereal and deceptive lation which is obliterated, and tends to force upon our belief an outward cause which has no existence.^

There are diseased or disordered visual sensations, exin connexion with a morbid condition of the visual isting was, necessarily inorgan ; but as this view of the subject in what has already been said on in some volved,

degree, the subject of excited conceptions or Apparitions, it is not There are also diseasit here. necessary to enlarge upon ed or disordered sensations of touch. single instance, out of multitudes like it, will serve both to illustrate and In the Natural Magic of Dr to confirm the remark.

X2

246
Brewster
is

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

an account of a lady (the case which we have

to refer to) who was subject to specalready had occasion in connexion tral illusions, of whom it is expressly said, with her remarkable mental affections, that she possesses " a so strongly affecting naturally morbid imagination, her corporeal impressions, that the story of any person accident or otherwise will having suffered severe pain by acute twinges in the corresponding occasionally produce An account, for instance, of the amof her
^

person. part will produce an instantaneous and seputation of an arm, also (and vere sense of pain in her own arm." There are the statement to all the senses without we

might apply or disordered sensations of hearing. exception) diseased The celebrated Mendelsohn was frequently subject to the And it hapattacks of a violent species of catalepsis. if he had recently heard any lively conversation, pened, the fit, a loud voice apparently repeated to him, while in which had been distinguished from the particular words,
an emphatic and by being pronounced with and " in such a manner that his ear tone of voice,
others

raised

rever-

berated with the sound."


329

Of disordered

or alienated external peiccption

to a power closely naturally proceed from sensation connected with it, that of External Perception. Indeed, what has been said of sensation will apply, in a considerable degree, to the last-mentioned power, because sensais tion always involved perception, and

We

naturally precedes

But perception, while it involves sensation, implies something more, something additional ; it involves the reference of the inward mental state to the outward
in
it.

also

cause or object, and not unfrequently implies also acts of one cause from ancomparison, by which it distinguishes other. And particularly is this the case in respect to those
as ACQUIEED perceptions, perceptions which are designated So that, in in order to distinguish them from ORIGINAL. view of what has been said, it would seem to be the fact, in the first place, that, when our sensations are disorderBut this is not ed, our perceptions will be so likewise. In consequence of some interior cause, such as an all.
to a thing inability to attend
for

any length of time*

or

(IL) INSANITY.

247

disordered and false incapacity of instituting comparisons, external perceptions will sometimes exist when there apin the sensations. pears to be no unsoundness to these views, we find that persons, in whom Agreeably the power of external perception is disordered from the first of the two causes just referred to, sometimes have not accord with those of perceptions of colour which do mankind generally, being entirely unable, for instance, to Other persons, again, have distinguish blue from green. no distinct perception of minute sounds, and take no more of a musical composition of pleasure in the harmonies than they do in the most discordant truly great merit., When the disordered action of the perceptive screams. the subjects of it power originates from the second cause, are apt to confound times, persons, and places. They for othmistake, for instance, their friends and relations to the place where they are, alers, and are at a loss as have been in it hundreds of times before.

though they may


tion

They exhibit particularly this species of alienated percepwhen they attempt to read a book. They no doubt see the letters no less than others, but the action^of the mind, in other respects, not being such as to permit them to dwell upon them, and compare and combine them into
words, they are unable to read ;
difficult.
it is,

at least, exceedingly

230 Disordered

state or insanity of original suggestion.

When we
lect,

Internal intelpass from the External to the from the region of sensation and external perception

to the interior domain of Original Suggestion, to the convictions involved in Consciousness, to the important powers of Relative Suggestion, Memory, and Reasoning^we are introduced, indeed, to a higher order of mental action, from those disorders to which but we find no

exemption
its

the

human mind, in aU

great departments,

is

occasion-

In regard to Original Suggestion, which ally exposed. comes first in order, a power which deals with original ideas and principles merely, without professing to ascertain the relations existing among them, it must be admitted that it does not give so frequent and decided indicaNevertions of "disordered action as we find elsewhere.

248

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

theless, this is

sometimes the case. The conviction, for have perinstance, not only that we exist, but that we sonal identity ; that we are now what we have been in
times past in all that constitutes us rational and accountable beings, is obviously essential to a sound mind. But
this

which obviously elementary and important conviction, does not rest upon judgment nor the deductions of reaof ORIGINAL SUGGESTION, soning, but upon the higher basis To is sometimes annulled, either in whole or in part. tiiis head, so far as the conviction of the identity of the mind is concerned, we may refer the interesting case of
the Rev. Simon Browne, an English clergyman, who fully believed, for many years before his death, that he had his rational part or soul, and was the posentirely lost of a corporeal or animal life, such as is possessor

merely

sessed

by the

brutes.

He was

man

of

marked

ability,

both in conversation and writing ; and this, too, on all with his malady, after his partial subjects not connected But so entirely was he convinced of the abalienation.

and of the probably actual extinction of his soul, a valuable work which he dedicated to the Queen of England, he speaks of it in the dedication as the work of one who " was once a man ; of some little name ; but of no worth, as his present unparalleled case makes but too manifest; for, by the immediate hand of an avenging God, his very thinking substance has, for more than sevsence,
that, in

enteen years, been gradually wasting away, till it is wholly perished out of him, if it be not utterly come to nothing."*
231

Unsoundness or insanity of consciousness.

The

basis of the various convictions or

judgments

oi

Consciousness, as that term is defined and illustrated by writers, is the antecedent idea and belief of personal idenIf this last conviction, therefore, be lost, as in the case mentioned in the last section, all that is involved in Consciousness goes with it It is the business of Consciousness to connect the acts of the mind with the mind
tity.

itself; to consolidate them, as it were, into one. in our full belief, our mind is destroyed,; if self or

But

if,

ality is obliterated,
*

then

it is

clearly

personlonger within the

Conolly's Indications of Insanity, ch, x.

(ir.)

INSANITY.

249

perception and reasoning as having a home and agency Self is destroyed ; and the mental in our own bosoms. acts which are appropriate to self are mere entities, floatof space, without ing about, as it were, in the vacuities the possibility of being assigned to any locality or ascri1

power of consciousness

to recognise our various acts of

bed to any

cause.

The

instance, therefore,

mentioned in

the preceding section, which may be regarded as of a mixed kind, (that is to say, showing a perplexed action, both of Original Suggestion and Consciousness,) will serve
to illustrate
is

what

is

said here.

Another instance, not less

watchmaker of Paris, who striking, became insane during the period of the French Revolution. This man believed that he and some others had been beheaded, but that the heads were subsequently ordered to be restored to the original owners. Some mistake, however, as the insane person conceived, was comthat of a celebrated

mitted in the process of restoration, in consequence of which he had unfortunately been furnished with the head of one of his companions instead of his own. He was admitted into the hospital Bicetre, " where he was continually complaining of his misfortune, and lamenting the fine teeth and wholesome breath he had exchanged for those of very different qualities." Instances also have probably, from time to time, occurred, in which, although the conviction of personality and personal identity has remained, yet in the fixed belief of the insane person the bond of connexion between the mind and its powers has been dissolved ; and the memory perhaps, or the reasoning, or the imagination, which once

belonged to himself, has been transferred by some mysterioiis agency to an intellect more favoured than his own.
232. Insanity of the judgment or relative suggestion

Pursuing this subject in its connexion with the powers of the Internal Intellect in the order in which they presented themselves to our notice in the Second Part of this Division, and which seems to be essentially the order The of nature, we next proceed to Relative Suggestion. of Relative Suggestion, like that of Original Sugpower
gestion,
is

exceedingly simple in

its

action,

being limited

250

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

to the mere matter of perceiving relations ; but it is different in this respect, that while mental disorder but seldom reaches original suggestion, there is scarcely an instance of decidedly disordered intellect, in which relative
to say, JUDGMENT in its simplest form) suggestion (that is And this is not affected in a greater or less degree. seems to be unavoidable. For relations always imply And the -existence of something else, of other objects. if mistakes, in consequence of a wrong mental action in other respects, exist in regard to those other things, whatever they may be, they necessarily either annul or greatof the power by which such relaly perplex the results Besides this, the power in its own tions are perceived. other nature, and independently of perplexities from disordered. sources, is liable to be, and is in fact, sometimes with that of reais But as this closely connected

subject

soning,
other,
$

and as they
shall

reciprocally

throw

light

upon each

we

say nothing further here.


Light-headedness

233. Disordered or alienated association.

is sometimes greater, at others less. one of the slighter forms of mental alienation from this cause, which may be termed LIGHT-HEADEDNESS ; otherwise called by Pinel, demence, and by Dr. Rush, Persons subject to this mental disease are dissociation. " " sometimes designated as flighty," hair-brained ;" and when the indications of it are pretty decided, as a " little cracked*" Their disorder seems chiefly to consist in a deficiency of the ordinary power over associated ideas. Their thoughts fly from one subject to another with great rapidity ; and, consequently, one mark of this state of mind is great volubility of speech and almost constant motion of the body. This rapid succession of ideas and attendant volubility of tongue are generally accompanied with forgetfulness in a greater or less degree. And as the subject of this form Of derangement is equally incapable of checking; and reflecting upon his present ideas.

irregular tellectual nature

of the mind, the great principles which regulate its action, as w-ell as its mere perceptions or states, may be disordered , for instance, the law of association. action of this important principle of our inThe

The laws

There

is

(ll.)

INSANITY.

251

and of recalling the past, he constantly forms incorrect judgments of things. & Another mark which has been given is a diminished sensibility to external impressions.
234
Illustrations of this

mental disorder.

Dr. Rush, in his valuable work on the Diseases of the Mind, has repeated the account which an English clergyman who visited Lavater, the physiognomist, has given of that singular character. It accurately illustrates this 5 " mental disorder. " 1 was detained/ says he, the whole

morning by the strange, wild, eccentric Lavater, in variWhen once he is set agoing, there is ous conversations. no such thing as stopping him till he runs himself out of breath. He starts from subject to subject, flies from book to book, from picture to picture; measures your nose, your eye, your mouth, with a pair of compasses ; pours forth a torrent of physiognomy upon you ; drags you, for a proof of his dogma, to a dozen of closets, and unfolds ten thousand drawings ; but will not let you open your a difficulty ; and crams a solution down lips to propose your throat before you have uttered half a syllable of
" He is as meager as the picture of famine ; his nose and chin almost meet. I read him in my turn, and found little difficulty in discovering, amid great genius, unaffected piety, unbounded benevolence, and moderate learna mind at once asing, much caprice and unsteadiness piring by nature and grovelling through necessity; an endless turn to speculation and project ; in a word, a clever, flighty, good-natured, necessitous man."
;

your objection.

Of partial insanity or alienation of the memory. other exhibitions of partial insanity, using the terms in the manner already explained, we may include some of the more striking instances of weakened and disordered memory. Every other part of the intellect may be sound and regular in its action, (for it will be recollected that we confine ourselves here to the disorders
6 235.

Among

abilities

of the INTELLECT, without anticipating those of the Senand the Will,) the powers of perception, of association, of imagination, of reasoning, at least so far as while they are able to ao* independent of the memory,

252

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.

obliterthe action of the latter power is either essentially and unaccountable deviated or is the subject of strange From the plan of this work, we are obliged to ations. notices ; and content ourselves with the briefest possible illustrarefer to one or two instances can therefore only The instances of weakened tion of what has been said. those and perverted memory are of three kinds; (1.) various caused where there is a general prostration, old age 5 (2.) those where^there ways, such as grief and and entire prostration extending to particular is a sudden a particular period of time, generally subiects, or through sudden and violent affection of the body ;

caused by some an inordinate and (3 ) those where there is not so much consideraor obliteration of the power under^ weakness action of it-as a singularly perverse and irregular tion, to say anything of the fars' It is probably not necessary Of the second class is the case mentioned by Dr. class. in consequence of a vu>Beattie, of a gentleman who, of Greek, but lent blow on the head, lost his knowledge have lost anything else. Another m* did not appear to Dr. Abercrombie, of a lady is that mentioned
^

stance

by

lost the recolwho, in consequence of a protracted illness, twelve years ; but lection of a period of about ten or of things as they stood spoke with perfect consistency Of the third class is the case of a man before that time.

who always called tobacco a hogshead and of another man who, when he wanted coals put upon Ms fire, always
;

for called for paper, and when he wanted paper, called and of another, who could not be made to under; stand the name of an object if it was jspoken to him, but understood it perfectly when it was written. These three cases will be found more particularly detailed in Dr. Abcase into the Intellectual Powers. ercrombie's

coals

Inquiries more interesting is found in Dr. ConolLy's Inperhaps of Insanity, as follows : dications " of considerable attainments, after longstill

continued attention to various subjects, found himself inwhat he sat down to write ; and, wishcapable of writing could get no farther than the first ing to write a check, two words he found that he wrote what lie did not mean to write, but by no effort could he write what he
^

A gentleman

(ll.)

INSANITY.

^53

memory and attention which time his exterideas which nal senses were not impaired, but the only without he had were such as the imagination dictated, He knew also, during this o-der and without object. not that when he spoke, the words he uttered were
This impairment of his intended. lasted about half an hour, during
time,

When he recovered, he the words he wished to utter. infound that in his attempt to write the check, he had, ' one half year's stead of the words fifty dollars, being dollars through the salvation of rate/ put down fifty
Bra.'
$ 236.

Of

the power of reasoning

have considanimation of the subject of insanity, that we ered the powers of the mind separately. Probably every those of the intellect, power of the mind, but particularly

It

will be noticed, so far as

m the partially insane. we have gone in the

ex-

may become more or

less disordered.

Having considered

consciousness, sensation, perception, original suggestion, as comassociation, and memory, we propose, judgment, in order, to examine the subject in its connexion next

ing of insanity with the reasoning power. In some cases There is no powtotal inability of reasoning. there is a of course, er of attention, no power of comparison, and, of an arin the mind to pass from the premises no ability have already had occagument to the conclusion. means sion to refer to the power of relative suggestion, by this powof which comparisons are instituted. Whenever its office, such is^the er is disordered and fails to perform the operations close connexion between it and reasoning, the inaIn such cases of the latter are disturbed also. to all is total; that is to say, it extends bility to reason But it is more frequently the case, that alike.

We

subjects but exists the alienation of reasoning is not so extensive, to which in relation to certain subjects, in respect chiefly the train of reasoning leads the belief is affected.

When

the person within the range of those particular subjects, the intellect whatever they are, we at once discover that And this view has led to the common reis disordered. well founded, that the more mark, which is obviously of insane or alienated reason does not con-

common form

254
sist

DISORDERED JVTELLECTUAL ACTION.

of connecting propositions, and as in the premises. The insane person believes, for instance, that he is a king. Accordingly, he leasons correctly in requiring for himself the homage suited to a king, and in expressing dissatisfaction on account of its being withheld j but he commits an essential error in the premises, which assume that he
so
in the in the conclusions

much

mode

drawn from them,

actually possesses that station.


<J

237. Instance of the above form of insanity of reasoning.

have an instance of the form of insanity just mentioned in the character of Don Quixote. Cervantes represents the hero of his work as having his naturally good understanding perverted by the perusal of certain foolish, romantic stories, falsely purporting to be a true record of knights and deeds of chivalry. These books, containing the history of dwarfs, giants, necromancers, and other
preternatural extravagance, were zealously perused, until the head of Don Quixote was effectually turned by them.

We

Although he was thus brought


tal
it

into a state of real

men-

limited to the extravagances derangement, are expressly informwhich have been mentioned.

was

We

ed, that, in all his conversations and replies, he gave evident proofs of a most excellent understanding, and never

the stirrups" except on the subject of chivalry. he " was crazed." Accordingly, when the barber and curate visited him on a certain occasion, the conversation happened to turn on what are termed reasons of state, and on modes of administration ; and Don Quixote spoke so well on every topic, as to convince them that he was quite sound, and had recovered the But something being un right exercise of his judgment. said about the Turkish war, the knight at once advisedly
lost

"

On

this subject

muoh solemnity and seriousness > that his majesty had nothing to do but to issue a proclamation, commanding all the knightsrerrant in Spam to assemble at his court on a certain day ; and, although not more than half a dozen should come, among these one would be found who would alone be sufficient to overthrow the whole Turkish power. When the subject of conversation turned apon war,
remarked, with

(II.)

INSANITY.

255

which had so near a connexion with shields, and lances, and all the associations of chivalry, it came within the led to tne absurd remark which range of his malady, and showed at once the unsoundness of his mind, notwithwhich he had just standing the sobriety and good sense
before exhibited.
238
Partial mental alienation by

means

of the imagination.

of sensibility and genius, by giving way to the sometimes hesuggestions of a melancholy imagination, come mentally disordered. Not that we are ^authorized to include these cases as among the more striking forms of insanity ; they in general attract but little notice, alsources of exquisite misery to the subjects of them.

Men

though But such are the extravagant dreams in which they inof the character and dulge such are the wrong views actions of men, which their busy and melancholy imaginations are apt to form, that they cannot be reckoned minds. These instances, which persons of truly sound are not rare, it is difficult fully to desciibe ; but their most distinguishing traits will be recognised in the followReflections on the ing sketch from Madame de StaePs Character and Writings of Rousseau. After remarking that he discovered no sudden emoand that tions, but that his feelings grew upon reflection, he became impassioned in consequence of his own medi" Sometimes he would part tations, she adds as follows. with you with all his former affection ; but if an expression had escaped you which might bear an unfavourable construction, he would recollect it, examine it, exaggerate dwell upon it for a month, and conclude by a it, perhaps Hence it was that there was total breach with you. scarce a possibility of undeceiving him ; for the light which broke in upon him at once was not sufficient to
;

efface the

wrong impressions which had taken, place so It was extremely difficult, too, to in his mind. gradually continue long on an intimate footing with him. word, a gesture, furnished him with matter of profound meditalike tion; he connected the most trifling circumstances so many mathematical propositions, and conceived his conclusions to be supported by the evidence of demon*

stration.

256
"I

DISORDERED INTELLECTUAL ACTION.


believe," she further remarks,

" that

imagination

vas the strongest of his faculties, and that it had almost absorbed all the rest. He dreamed rather than existed, and the events of his life might be said more properly to

a mode of in his mind than without him one should have thought, that ought to have secubeing, red him from distrust, as it prevented him from observation i but the truth was, it did not hinder him from attempting to observe; it only rendered his observations erroneous. That his soul was tender, no one can doubt after having read his works ; but his imagination sometimes and deinterposed between his reason and his affections, sometimes void of stroyed their influence ; he appeared he did not perceive obsensibility ; but it was because such as they were. Had he seen them with our jects " affected than ours eyes, his heart would have been more

have passed

239

Insanity or alienation of the

power of

belief

action of the various intellectual powers which to view in this chapter, terminates in In regard to that the causation or production of Belief. of the intellect which is denominated beparticular state

The

have been brought

lief, it is

and determinate
susceptibilities,
is

obvious that, in a sound mind, it has a natural relation to all the various intellectual This relation both External and Internal.

in a position ; and the belief exists unsustained by the evidence which is presentaltogether There are three classes of persons in whom this state ed. of mind, or, in other words, the faculty or susceptibility of belief, if we may be permitted so to call it, appears to The first class are those who seem be disordered. (!.} incapable of believing anything which they are required to receive on the testimony of others. They must see it with their own eyes ; they must hear it, or handle it for themselves ; they must examine it by square, rule, and compass. They remind one of the Savage, who complain" that it ed, when something was proposed for his belief, would not believe for him." The causes of this singular inability are worthy of more inquiry than has hitheito

sometimes disturbed

been expended upon them. When it is very great, it is a mark of the approach or actual existence of idiocy.-

(ll.)

INSANITY

257

(2.)

There

is

another class of persons,


this

who

plainly

snow

a derangement of
lieve everything.

No matter how incongruous or improbable a story is, it is received at once. They take no note of dates, characters, and circumstances; and, as they find nothing too improbable to believe, they find nothing too This state of strange, marvellous, and foolish to report. mind is frequently an accompaniment of light-headedness. (3.) There are other cases, where the alienation of but particular. There is nothing pebelief is not general, culiar and disordered hi its ordinary action, but only in
That is, certain propositions, respect to particular facts. which are erroneous and absurd, are received by the disordered persons as certain ; and nothing can convince them of the contrary. One believes himself to be a king ; another, that he is the prophet Mohammed ; and various other absurdities are received by them as undoubtedly true. On all other subjects they appear to be rational ; but the alienation or insanity of belief is evident as soon as their cherished errors are mentioned,

power by

their readiness to be-

MENTAL PHILOSOPHY.

DIVISION SECOND
THE
.SENTIENT

SENSIBILITIES,

OR SENSITIVE STATES OF THE MIND


SENTIMENTS.

INTRODUCTION
CLASSIFICATION OF THE SENSIBILITIES.
$

240

Reference

to the general division of the

whole

mmd

of the mind which we have endeavoured to examine, and which we are now about to leave for the purpose of advancing into departments of our mental nature, which, considered in reference to the Intellect, may be regarded as occupying a more remote and interior pothis portion
sition.

IT will be recollected that we proposed, as the basis oi our inquiries, the general division of the mind into the InThese great detellect, the Sensibilities, and the Will. of the mind are not only generically distinct; partments but the difference between them is so clear and marked, it is surprising they should have been so often confounded They are not only different in their nature,*a together. fact which is clearly ascertained by Consciousness, in its cognizance of their respective acts, but are separated from each other, as all observation shows, by the relations which they respectively sustain. The Intellect or Understanding comes first in order, and furnishes the basis of It is action to the other great departments of the mind.

The

action of the sensibilities implies that of the intellect

The action of the Sensibilities is subsequent in time to As a general thing, there that of the Intellective nature. is, and can be, no movement of the sensibilities ;' no such thing as an emotion, desire, or feeling of moral obligation,
without an antecedent action of the
intellect.

If

we

are

pleased or displeased, there is necessarily before the mind some object of pleasure or displeasure ; if we exercise the some object feeling of desire, there must necessarily be desired, which is made known to us by an action of the inSo that if there were no intellect, or if intellect
tellectual

powers were entirely dormant and inactive there would be no action of the emotive part of our na tore and of the passions.

the^

262

INTRODUCTION.

And we may not only say, in general terms, that the action of the sensibilities implies the antecedent action of the intellect, but may even assert more specifically, (making allowance for those constitutional differences which pervade every part of the mental structure,) that the activity

of the

sensibilities will

be nearly

in proportion to
all

that of the intellect.

In other words, on

subjects

which are calculated to excite any interest at all, those who have the broadest and most satisfactory views will be likely to feel more intensely than others ; the sensibilities expanding and exerting themselves in conformity with the expanded and energetic action of the perceptive and cognitive powers.
4?i

242 Division of

the sensibilities into natural or patheraatic, and moral

pass onward from the percipient and cognitive nature to the distinct and more remote region of the emotions and passions, it seems proper, before we enter more minutely into the various inquiries which may be expect-

As we

ed to present themselves, to consider whether the departSensibilities itself is not susceptible of being resolved into some subordinate yet important divisions. In accordance with this suggestion, our first remark is, that the Sensibilities, when subjected to a careful examination, will clearly be found to separate themselves into the great divisions of the Natural or Pathematic, and the Moral. These leading departments will be found to run, if we may be allowed the expression, in two separate channels, which, although they are, for the most part, parallel with each other, are, nevertheless, essentially and sufficiently distinct ; each being characterized by its own

ment of the

attributes

and by

its

appropriate

results.

Our examina-

tion of the Sensibilities will accordingly proceed the basis of this division.

upon

plicable to the states of

In reference to the use of the term Pathematic, as apmind embraced in one of these
it is

great divisions,

proper to observe, that

it

appears to

have been formed from its Greek original, and first used by Sir James Mackintosh. He repeatedly speaks of that part of our nature which includes the emotions and pass,

as

unnamed ; and, in the progress of Jiis

discussions,

CLASSIFICATION OF THE SENSIBILITIES.

263

appears at times to be embarrassed for the want of suitUnder these circumable English words to express it stances he proposes the term in question, which, in its
etymological import,
is

which involves emotion,


$ 243.

applicable to any state of desire, or passion.

mind

The moral and

natural sensibilities have different objects

The Natural and Moral

Sensibilities

appear to take,

fundamentally, different views of the objects in respect to which they are called into exercise. The one considers objects chiefly as they have a relation to ourselves ^ the

The one* other, as they relate to all possible existences. looks at things in the aspect of their desirableness; the other fixes its eye on the sublime feature of their rectitude.
is GOOD , the other, what is RIGHT. from man's constitution his Conscience, (what may be called, if we may be allowed the expression, the moralities of his nature,) and you at once strike from the mind one half of its motives to action ; for, in respect to everything which is considered by us desirable

The one

asks what

Obliterate

be done, the question always recurs, is it right to be done ? At one time, on the supposition of an entire erasure of the moral sensibilities, all his movements are dictated by the suggestions and cravings of the appetites. At other times, he covets knowledge, or seeks society, or indulges in the refinements of the arts; but it will be found in these instances, as well as when he is under the
to

influence of the appetites, that pleasure is still his object, and that he is disappointed in not securing it And even
in his higher

moods of

action,

when

raised, in

some de-

gree, above the influence of the subordinate propensities, his movements will always be based on calculations of
interest
;

fluence his conduct

and although the various suggestions which inmay have an extensive range, they

will never fail to revolve within the limits of a circle, the centre of which is HIMSELF. It is his moral nature, and that

which places him beyond the limits of this circle, and enables him, on suitable occasions, to act with exclusive reference to God, his fellow-men, and the universe.
alone,

264
$ 244.

INTRODUCTION.

The moral

sensibilities higher

m rank than

the naturai

such being the objects of these two great departments of our nature, it is not surprising that they do not hold the same place in our estimation. There is obviviously a sort of graduation in the feelings of regard and

And

honour which

we
it

We at once, as

attach to different parts of the

mind

than others. is so ; but such

were instinctively, regard some as higher We may not be able always to tell why it
is

the fact.

We never hesitate,

for in-

stance, to assign a lower place to the instincts than to the appetites ; and, on the other hand, we always allot to the
appetites, in the graduation of our regard, a place below that of the affections. And, entirely in accordance with this general fact, we find it to be the case, that the moral

within us higher sentiments of regard ; words, hold, in our estimation of them, a higher rank than the appetites, propensities, and passions, which constitute the leading divisions of our pathematic nature. The moral sensibility appears to occupy, in respect to the other great division of our sensitive nature, the position of a consultative and judicial power; it not only stands above it, and over it, in our estimation, but actually is so, viz., in the exercise of a higher authority ; it keenly scrutinizes the motives of action; it compares emotion with emotion, desire with desire ; it sits a sort of arbitress, holding the scales of justice, and dispensing such decisions as are requisite for the due regulation of the empire of the passions.
sensibilities excite

in other

245 The moral

sensibilities

wanting

in biutes.

It will, perhaps, throw additional light upon the distinction winch we assert to exist in the Sensibilities, if we sail to recollection

sensibilities exist in

in

man.

here that the natural or pathematic brute animals essentially the same as Brute animals are susceptible of various emotheir instincts, appetites, propensities,

tions.

They have

affections, the same as human beings have, and, perhaps, even in a higher degree. They rush with eagerness in the pursuit of whatever is calculated to gratify their appetites, and are deeply interested in everything that is

and

addressed t^ the natural affections.

They

are pleased

CLASSIFICATION uF THE SENSIBILITIES.

265

and displeased
sions
;

; they have their prepossessions and averat they love and hate with as much vehemence,

portion the Moral Sensibilities, it is not And here, we apprehend, is the great ground of there. The latter, as distinction between men and the brutes.

least, as commonly characterizes look for the other and But if

human

passion.

we

more elevated

of the

sensibilities, viz.,

well as human beings, appear to understand what is good, considered as addressed simply to the natural affections ; but man has the higher knowledge of moral as well as of natural good. The brute, as well as man, knows what is desirable, considered in the light of the natural appetites and passions ; but man enjoys the infinitely higher prerogative of knowing what is worthy of pursuit, con-

sidered in the light of moral and conscientious perceptions


246
Classification of the natural sensibilities

Beginning, in the examination of the interesting subject before us, with the Natural or Pathematic sensibilities, we
shall find this portion of our sensitive nature resolving
self into the subordinate divisions of the
it-

Emotions and
each

Desires.

These two

lasses of

mental

states follow

other in the order in

Emotions first ? rious ; and then the Desires, embracing, under the

which they have been named ; the which are exceedingly numerous and valatter

This term, the Appetites, Propensities, and Affections. is not only the order in succession or time, but it is also nature. the order In other words, and stated moie particularly, such is the constitution of the human mind, that, when we pass from the region of the Intellect to that of the Sensibilities, we first find ourselves (and there is no other possible position which, in the first instance, we can occupy) in the are at first pleased or disdomain of the EMOTIONS. the thing, pleased, or have some other emotion in view of whatever it is, which has come under the cognizance of And emotions, in the ordinary process of the intellect

We

mental action, are followed by Desires. As we cannot be pleased or displeased without some antecedent perception or knowledge of the thing which we are pleased or displeased with, so we cannot desire to possess or avoid

266
sire in the existence

INTRODUCTION.

laid the foundation of such deanything, without having And of some antecedent emotion. as the mind is this is not only the matter of fact which, to our notice, but we actually constituted, is presented To deconceive how it could be otherwise. cannot well to excite within us the sire a thing which utterly fails seems to be a sort of solecism emotion of least

to be imor absurdity in nature ; in other words, it seems nature of things, under any conceivable possible, from the At any rate, it is not possible, as the mind circumstances. have been the fact whatever
is

pleasure,

actually constituted,

might

if

the mind had been constituted differently.


$

247

Classification of the moral sensibilities

sensibilities. If we look at the conscientious or Moral that they divide themselves in a manner entirely we find which is found to exist in the analogous to the division Natural The first class of mental states which presents head, is that of to our notice under this
itself

or feelings of may be designated as Obligatory feelings, moral obligation ; which hold the same relation to the moral emotions which the Desires do to the natural emoIf we had not moral emotions, (that is to say, feeltions. of moral approval and disapproval,) it would not be ings ~'"ssib!e for us to fe^ under raoral obligation in any casp whatever ; the latter state of tfce mmci being obvious^* It will be noticed, that in this dependent on the former. we scarcely do more than simply state the fact of place this subordinate classification, without entering into minute The precise relation which the two deexplanations. of our moral nature sustain to each other will partments be more fully stated and clearly understood, when, in their under examination proper place, they come particularly

moral Emotions ; corresponding in the place which they the Intellect, as well as in some occupy in relation to The moral emoother respects, to the natural emotions. which tions are followed by another class of moral feelings,

general

THE SENSIBILITIES.

PART

FIRST.
SENSIBILITIES.

NATURAL OR PATHEMATIO

NATURAL OR PATHEMATIC SENTIMENTS.

CLASS FIRST.
EMOTIONS OR EMOTIVE STATES OF THE MIND.

CHAPTER
We have

1.

HATXTRE OF THE EMOTIONS.


$ 248.
a knowledge of emotions by consciousness.

IN prosecuting the examination of the Sensibilities, a* accordance with the plan which has been marked out in the Introduction, we begin with the Emotions* It is, of course, implied in the arrangement we have made, which assigns them a distinct place, that this class of mental states has a nature and characteristics of its own, in virtue of which they are distinguished from all others. At the same time, it cannot be denied that it is extremely difficult to explain by mere words what that precise nature is. do not suppose, indeed, that any one is ignorant of what is meant when we have occasion to speak of an emotion, whether i be an emotion of melancholy, of cheerfulness, of surprise, or of some other kind. But, whatever may be the fact as to our knowledge, it is unquestionable that we are unable to give a verbal explanation of them, in themselves considered. In this respect they "are like all other states of the mind^ which are truly simple. The fact of their entire simplicity necessarily renders them undefinable ; because a definition implies a separation of the thing defined into parts. So that we are dependent for a knowledge of the interior and essential nature of emotions, not upon verbal explanations ajid definitions, which are inadequate to the communication of such knowledge, but upon ConsciousIt is a species of knowledge which the soul reness.

We

veals to itself

by its own act, directly and immediately. While, therefore, we do not profess to define emotions, in any proper and legitimate sense of defining, we may commend them without impropriety to each one's internal examination.
intimations

And certainly we may rely upon the which consciousness, when properly interrofail to

gated, in others

can hardly

disclose in this case as well as

Z2

270
(

NATURE OF THE EMOTIONS.


The
in reference to other menta* place of emotions, considered
acts.

249.

idea of Emotions, Although, in attempting to give some are obliged, for a knowledge of them, in themselves considered, to refer each one to his own consciousness, we may nevertheless mention some circumstances which throw an indirect light on them ; and, at any rate, render

we

which they suscircumstance which we propose to indicate has reference to the position which they occupy; (of course it will be understood that we mean their position, not in the material sense of the It will be found, on exterm, but in time or succession.) amination, to be the fact, as we have already had occasion to suggest, that Emotions always occupy a place between intellections or acts of the intellect and the desires,

more

clear to our perception the relation

tain to other

mental

states.

The

first

if

emotion, in respect to that, whatever it is, which we have no knowledge of. In regard to the Desires, it is true, that, like the emotions, they are subsequent to the perceptive and cognitive acts ; but it is well understood that they are not in immeIt is perfectly obvious, that diate proximity with them. no act of perception or of cognition in any shape can lay the foundation for a desire, unless the object of per-

they are natural emotions ; and between intellections if they are moral emofeelings of moral obligation, That thev are subseauent to intellections, we betions. neve muse DC aounaantiy clear. It is as obvious as any axiom of geometry, that we cannot have any feeling, any

and

ception is pleasant to us ; in other words, unless it excites within us pleasant emotions. For, whenever we speak of a thing as pleasant to us, we certainly involve the faot that we have pleasant emotions in view of it. Nor, furthermore, can any perceptive or intellectual act lay

the foundation for Obligatory feelings (that is to say, feelings of moral obligation) .without the intervention and It may be regarded as self-eviaid of moral emotions.
dent, 'that

we

never could feel under moral obligation to

do or not to do a thing, unless the thing to be done or ftot to be done had first excited within us an emotion of or disapproval. So that the desires, and Jhose

NATURE OF THE EMOTIONS.


the feelings in

^71

moral sensibilities which correspond to them, are based upon emotions, as really as the emotions In the order of nature, are based upon intellections. therefore, emotions are found in the place which has now been allotted them, and they are found nowhere else; being always and necessarily posterior to a knowledge of
the things to which they relate ; and, on the other band, antecedent, by an equally strict natural necessity, to the other states of mind which have been mentioned.
250

The

character of emotions changes so as to conform perceptions

to that ot

It is

that important to impress upon the recollection,

the order of succession, in fact and in nature, is precisely that which has been stated, viz., intellections, emotions, and desires in the case of the natural sensibilities, and of the moral sensibilities. obligatory feelings in the case

The two

last

mentioned being followed immediately, as

their natural results, by acts of the will, which terminate and complete the entire piocess of mental action. But

as we must take them and examine them in their we say further, in regard to the Emotions, which

is

order, the

the fact of their subsetopic before us at present, that to intellections and of their being based upon quence the circumstance of their always them is confirmed

by

with the perchanging or varying in precise accordance If it were otherwise, (that or intellective acts. ceptive is to say, if they had any other foundation than intellective acts)

how does it happen that these changes so uni ? fennly take place are lo'oking, for instance, ori some extended landthat the view of certain obscape \ but are so situated is interrupted, and, of course, the relations of the jects ^hole are disturbed. At such a time the emotions we have are far from being pleasant ; perhaps they are deBut as soon as our imperfect percidedly unpleasant are corrected, as soon as we are able to embrace ceptions the portions which were previously thrust out of view, and thus restore the interrupted proportions and haimony of the whole scenery, our emotions change at once, and we experience the highest pleasure. Again, if we look

We

272
at

NATURE OF THE EMOTIONS,

a painting which has come from the hand of some master of his art, we are distinctly conscious at first sight of a pleasing emotion ; but we examine it further, and make ourselves acquainted with a number of things less but still decidedly showing the prominent than others, and we skill of the painter, which escaped our first view, It in that emotion. are conscious of a distinct

change becomes more decided, more full, in precise conformity with the increased knowledge which we have obtained of the merit which the picture actually possesses. And is interposed, it is so, if no unusual disturbing influence
^

in every other case, showing not only the intimate but the emotions and the intelproximate connexion between of the former on the and the lective
acts,

dependence

latter.

$251. Emotions

characterized by rapidity and variety

When we
tween
obligations

intellections

assert that the position of emotions is beon the one hand, and desires and

on the

other,

we

that there imply, of course,

is

a real and marked distinction between them and the latAnd this distinction exists. If conter mental states. the same sciousness gives us a knowledge of emotions, can hardly fail to give a knowledge of the consciousness mental states that are subsequent to them ; and the differof ence of knowledge, resulting from these different acts
^

consciousness, involves necessarily

a difference

in

the

things known.

things, (1.) ness for the purpose of ascertaining the comparative nature of the mental states in question, we shall undoubtedly

Among

other

if

we

consult our conscious-

be led

to notice that

the emotions, as compared with the

and rapid in their origin, others, are generally more prompt more evanescent They arise and depart on as well as and sinking almost inthe surface of the mind,

swelling waves and ripples that play stantaneously, like the small the scarcely agitated surface of a summer's lake, and upon which have no sooner arrested the eye of the beholder than and feelings of obligation they are gone. The desires not only arise subsequently and more slowly, but obviously possess

a greater tenacity and

inflexibility

of nature

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

273

When a strong desire or a decided sentiment of duty has once entrenched itself in the soul, it is well known that
it is

comparatively

difficult to

dislodge

it.

involved in the dis (2.) There is another circumstance The emotions have less unity in linction between them.

kind

in other words, are

more various.

Desires and ob
states, to

llgations, although liable, like other

mental

be

modified by peculiar circumstances, are, in themselves But of emotions considered, always one and the same. we find many varieties, such as the emotions of cheerfulness and joy, of melancholy and sorrow, of shame, of
surprise, astonishment,

more the emotions,

have furtherand wonder. from all others, of the ludicrous, the emotions of beauty and sublimity, also the moral emotions of approval and disapproval, and some others.
differing
If the reader will

We

bear these statements in mind, taken with some things to be said hereafter, he will feel less objection, than he might otherwise have felt, to the general and subordinate classifications which we have thought ourselves authorized to make. These divisions we hold to be fundamental. They are necessarily involved, as we apprehend, in a thorough and consistent knowledge of the mind. Important points, for instance, in the doctrine of the Will, will be found to depend upon
in connexion
distinctions

which are asserted

to exist in the sensibilities.

It is desirable, therefore,

that the grounds of such distinctions should be understood, so that they may not only be above rejection, but above doubt.

CHAPTER

H.

EMOTIONS OF BEAJTY.
<$

252

Characteristics of emotions of beauty

WE do not profess to
ry possible emotion.
it

enter into

an examination of eve-

They

are so various and multiplied,

would be

difficult to

object be answered.

do it ; nor would any important Proceeding on the principle of se-

274

EMCTIONS OF BEAUTY.

or by reason of lecting those which, either in themselves, their relation to the aits and to human conduct, appear to be most interesting and important, we shall begin with have already had occasion to emotions of

remark, that

Beauty. This remark all emotions are ^indefinable. is to those under consideration as well as othapplicable Of the emotions of beauty it will be as difficult to ers.
clearer to any one's give a definition, so as to make them as to define the comprehension than they already are, find in sensations of colour, sound, or taste. simple them, however, these two marks or characteristics. The emotion of beauty, in the first place, is al-

We

We

name to one ways a pleasing one. We never give the which is painful, or to any feeling of disgust. Whenevwe imer, therefore, we speak of an emotion of beauty, the terms, some degree of satisfaction ply, in the use of
All persons, the illiterate as well as the or pleasure. nevwith this import. (2.) scientific, use the phrase er speak of emotions of beauty, to whatever degree may be our experience of inward satisfaction, without referThe same to something external. ring such emotions emotion, which is called satisfaction or delight of mind

(1.)

We

it is wholly and exclusively internal, we find to be termed an emotion of beauty if we are able to refer it to its charms around any something without, and to spread

when

external object.
<J

253

Of what

is

meant by

beautiful objects

excite the emotion of many objects Deauty ; that is, when the objects are presented, this emotion, in a greater 01 less degree, immediately exists. These objects we call beautiful. There are other objects which, so far from exciting pleasant emotions within us, are either indifferent,, or cause feelings of a decidedly opso that we speak of them as deformed posite character If there were no emotions, pleasant or unor disgusting. excited by either of these classes, or if the emo-

There are

which

pleasant, tions which they cause were of the same kind, we should So that the ground of apply to them the same epithets. distinction, which, in speaking of these different objects,

we

never

fail to

make 3 appears

to exist in our

own

feel-

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.
ings.

275

In other words, we call an object BEAUTIFUL, because it excites within us pleasant emotions, which, in the circumstances of the case, we cannot well ascribe to any other cause. And when we prefer to say, in other terms, that an object has beauty, we obviously mean the same a trait or quality (perhaps thing, viz., that the object has

we may
$

find

it

difficult to

explain precisely what

it

is)

which causes these emotions.


254

Of the

distinction

between beautiful and other

objects

In view of what has been said, we may venture to make two remarks. (1.) Every beautiful object has
itself which truly discriminates it from all This something, this peculiar trait, whatother objects. ever it is, lays the foundation for those results in the human mind, which, on being experienced, authorize us to This is clear, not only speak of the object as beautiful. from what, on a careful examination, we shall frequently find in the objects themselves, but also froin the fact, that the operations of the mind always have their appropriate

something in

causes.

If the

mind experiences a pleasant emotion


it is

in

because there is something in the object which has a determinate and permanent relation to that particular mental state which distinguishes If it were not for that distinctive it from other objects.

view of a

certain object,

trait in the object, the


it

human mind

is

so constituted that

could not have experienced the corresponding emotion

are distinguished from all others, (EL) Beautiful objects not only by something in themselves, certain original and inherent traits characteristic of them, but also, and pera species of borhaps still more, by a superadded trait, rowed effulgence, derived and reflected back from the mind itself. When we contemplate a beautiful object, we are pleased we are more or less happy. "We natuemotion of pleasure with the object rally connect this which is its cause ; and we have been hi the habit of doin most instances unconsciously to ouring this, no doubt The consequence is, the associalife. from
;

selves, early tion between the inward delight

and the outward cause

becomes so strong, that

are unable to separate them ; the objects, additional to their own proper qualities and

we

276

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY
efful-

and to beam out with an appear to be surrounded, the mind. gence which comes from
255 Grounds or occasions of emotions of beauty various

The next remark which we have

to

make on

the sub-

that the objects by which it is occasionject of Beauty is, ed are not always the same, but are very various ; differother not only in their general nature, but ing from each in their subordinate incidents. also Accordingly, we may with propriety regard the term BEAUTY not so much a or common name, expressive of particular as a general numerous emotions, which always possess the characteristhe tic of being pleasant, and are in every respect always same in nature, but which may differ from each other both in the occasions of their origin, and also in the dein which they exist. gree or intensity occasions on which they arise, we (L) In regard to the remark more particularly, that emotions of beauty may are felt, and frequently in a very high degree, in the conthat are addressed to the templation of material objects sense of sight, such as woods, waters, cultivated fields, look abroad upon nature, and the visible firmament. is exhibited in in the infinite variety of her works, as she below and in the heights above, in her shells the depths and flowers, and trees, in her in her

We

opened mental structure if we did not pronounce them beautiful. are felt in the contem(H) Again, emotions of beauty of Intellectual and moral objects. In other words, plation on which mind, as well as matter, furnishes the occasion Whenever we discover intelligence, wisdom, arise. they other truth, honour, magnanimity, benevolence, justice^or traits of a mind acting as it was created and designed to laid for emotions of beauty*act, we have a foundation
,*

and minerals, plants, suns ; and we find the mind waters, and her stars, and at the sight ; fountains of pleasure are suddenly kindling and we should do violence to^ our within us

The human

object, and as presenting nothing more so colour, is undoubtedly beautiful $ but becomes when it distinctly indicates to as intelligence and amiability.

countenance, considered merely as a material more than outline and

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

27?

sentiment or feeling of beauty exists, for instance, when are following* out a happy train of reasoning ; and hence the mathematician, who certainly has a delightful

of beauty are not exclusively lim(HI.) But emotions Feelings, which not only beai .he same name, but are truly analogous in kind, exist The also on the contemplation of many other things,
ited to these occasions.

we

in contemplafeeling analogous to what we experience works of nature, speaks of a beautiful theorem. ting many The connoisseur in music applies the term beautiful to a favourite air ; the lover of poetry speaks of a beautiful
in the design and also apply the term of his pictures. of beauty to experiments in the different depaitments when the experiment is simple, and physics ; especially results in deciding a point which has occasioned doubt

song

and the painter discovers beauty

in the colouring

We

and dispute. speak of it, and, as we suppose, with a degree of propriety, as a beautiful experiment. a wide sense, is So that all nature, taking the word the province of beauty ; the intellectual and the sensitive, do not, however, as well as the material world. mean by this to descend into particulars, and to say that of these departeverything which exists within the range ments ^ beautiful ; but merely that from none of the <~f nature are the elements of beauty great department? excluded.

We

We

256. All objects not equally

fitted to

cause these emotions.

is

From what has been said, it must be evident that there a correspondence between the mind and the outward This has already been addressed to it. objects which are seen in respect to the sensations and external perclearly and it is not less evident in respect to that part ceptions of our nature which we are now attending to. The mind, and the external world, and the external circumstances
;

of our situation, are reciprocally suited to each other. Hence, when we ascribe the quahty of beauty to any object,

we
is

have reference

to this

mutual adaptation.

An

ordinarily called beautiful object ble qualities ; in other words, when

when
it is

has agreeathe cause or anit

tecedent of the emotion of beauty.

However

it

mighl

AA

278

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

it would not have the character of appear to other beings, were not a sort of correspondence, beauty to us, if there an adaptedness to each other, between our mental constitution and such outward object that not all objects cause But no one can be

ignorant the emotions in question ; and of those which possess this a less deand some some have it in a

power,
gree.

greater,

in^

It is This brings us to a very important inquiry. which wishes to know. Why no unreasonable curiosity the effect is so limited, 'and why all objects are not emdifferent objects cause the same emobraced in it 1

Why

tion in different degrees?

And why

the

same

objects

of emotions in different individuals, produce a diversity and even in the same individual at different times ?
S57

susceotibihtv of emotions of beautv an ultimate punciple of our mewcai constitution

In answering these questions, something must be taken must be some startng point, otherwise all that can be said will be involved in inextricable That is, we must take for granted that the confusion. mmcl has an original susceptibility of such emotions. Nor can we suppose there can be any objection to a concession which is warranted by the most general experience. all know that we are created with this susceptibility, because we are all conscious of having had those emofor granted; there

We

tions

which are
or

attributed to

it.

And

if

we

are asked

how

that the susceptibility at the bottom of these feelings exists, we can only say that such was the will of the Being who created the mind, and that this is

why

it is

one of the original or ultimate elements of our nature. Although the mind, therefore, is originally susceptible of emotions of beauty, as every one knows ; still it is no less evident, from the general arrangements we behold,
intellectual nature, that these both in physical and emotions have their fixed causes or antecedents. have seen that these causes are not limited to one class or kind, but are to be found under various circumstances ; in the exercises of reasoning, in the fanciful creations of poetry, in musical airs, in the experiments of physics, in the forms of material existence, and the like. Perhaps

We

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

279

we may
a great

assert, as

number

a general statement, (that is to say, 'in or majority of cases,) these objects cannot

be presented to the mind, and the mind be unmoved by has a it contemplates them, and it necessarily feeling of delight, of a greater or less degree of strength, which authorizes us in characterizing them as beautiful. In asserting that this is correct as a general statement, it is implied that some objects do not originally cause these emotions. And hence we are led to enter into more
it;

in particular inquiries, having reference to this difference, what may be called, in the phraseology of some recent

Accordingly, our writers, the AESTHETIC power of objects. purpose, in the remarks which are to follow, is to point out some of those objects, and forms and qualities of obtion

which seem from their very nature, and in distincfiom other objects which do not have this power, fitted to create within us the feelings under consideration
jects,

258

Remarks on

the beauty of forms

The

circle

In making that selection of those objects and qualities of objects which we suppose to be fitted, in the original constitution of things, to cause within us pleasing emotions of themselves, independently of any extraneous aid,

we
is
is

The appeal cannot profess to speak with certainty. can do to the general experience of men ; and all to give, so far as it seems to have been ascertained, the

we

results of that experience. Beginning, therefore, with material objects, we are justified by general experience in saying that certain dispositions or forms of matter are beautiful ; for instance, the CIRCLE. or serpentine form rarely look upon a winding without experiencing a feeling of pleasure ; and on seeHence Hogarth, ing a circle, this pleasure is heightened. who, both by his turn of mind and by his habits of life,

We

has claims to be regarded as a judge, expressly lays it down in his Analysis of Beauty, that those lines which have most variety in themselves contribute most towards the production of beauty ; and that the most beautiful which a surface can be bounded is the waving line

by

which constantly, but imperceptibly, deviates from the straight line, This, which we frequentor serpentine, or that

280

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

ductions,

and other pleasing natural proly find in shells, flowers, he calls the line of beauty.
259
Original or intrinsic beauty

The

circle.

It is necessary, in

lock at
sion to
sively

it

in

two

Associated.
to

make

beauty ; by nature of the object, independently of accidental or merely Accordingly, it is this form of accessory circumstances.
objects beauty which we ascribe to which are circular, or approach that form, exhibiting a have in themselves, and on constantly varying outline, account of this configuration, a degree, and not unfreThe bending stem of quently a high degree, of beauty. the tulip, the curve of the weeping willow, the windings the vine wreathing itself around the elm, the of the

we may have occahave reference excluwhat may be denominated Original or Intrinsic which we mean that which is founded in the
In the remarks which
in this chapter,

examining the subject of beauty, to as Intrinsic and as points of view, viz.,

we

the CIRCLE.

Those

spread of the rainbow, expanding its immense curve over our of heads, could hardly fail to be regarded as an object if nothing but the form and outline great beauty, even were presented to our vision, without the unrivalled lustre of its colours. And the same of other instances., scattered in profusion through the works of nature, but too numerous to be mentioned here.
260

The vast circular serpentine river, are highly pleasing. a cloudless night, of the visible sky, when seen expanse is a beautiful object, independently of the splendour that over it by its brilliant troops of stars. The arch is

ivy,

Of

the beauty of straight and angular forms

Although the circular or constantly varying outline is to excite the delightful thought, more than any other, emotions under consideration, we are not to suppose that
In the power of beauty is excluded from other forms. examining the works of nature, it is hardly necessary to say that we find numerous instances of straight and anof the serpentine and winding, gular forms, as well as It can hardly be doubtless frequently. although perhaps ed that these forms, as they are operated upon and

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

283

in nature's hands, possess more or less beauty. almost a matter of supererogation to attempt to illustrate this statement to those who have a heart and eye open to the great variety of her works, which on every side are presented to our notice. Her forms, either original or in their combinations, are without number ; and if it be true that beauty does not claim a relationship with all, it is equally so that it is not restricted to one, or even a small portion of them. The intertwining shrubbery, which spreads itself abroad upon the ground, emits, if we may be allowed the expression, its sparkles and gleams of beauty around our feet. The elm, which rises upward towards the heavens, and forms its broad and green arch over our heads, is radiant with beauty also, although it is exceedingly diverse in its appearance. readily admit, for we cannot well do otherwise without violence to the suggestions of our nature, that the curve of the weeping willow possesses beauty. But, at the same time, we are not prepared to assert that the solitary palm-tree is absolutely destitute of it, although it displays, as it rises on the bosom of the desert, nothing but a tall, straight, branchless trunk, surmounted at the top, like a Corinthian column, by a single tuft of foliage. " There are an infinite number of the feebler vegeta5 " and bles/ says Mr. Alison, many of the common grasses, the forms of which are altogether distinguished by angles and straight lines, and where there is not a single curvature through the whole ; yet all of which are beautiful." He ascribes in another place a high degree of beauty to the knotted and angular stem of the balsam. And remarks also, in regard to the myrtle, that it is " generally reckoned a beautiful form, yet the growth of its stem is perpendicular, the junctions of its branches form regular and similar angles, and their direction is in straight or an-

moulded

It is

We

gular lines."
261

Of

square, pyramidal, and triangular forms

The remarks of the


beauty
is

last section,

going to show that

not limited to circular forms, is confirmed by what we observe in the works of art as well as of nature. The square, for instance, although we do not sup

A A2

282
pose
it

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY

presents very high claims, conies in for a share of

notice.

On account of its practical convenience, also for the reason of its being more entirely within the reach of human skill than some other forms, it is frequentarchitecture , generally with a pleasing ly introduced into
and
and sometimes with a high degree of beauty. In the Gothic architecture, the pyramidal, a form still further removed from any relationship with the circle, has a conspicuous place, and when properly combined with other forms, gives a decided pleasure. Hogarth, in illustration of his remark, that variety has a great share in
producing beauty, explicitly observes, that the pyramid, which gradually diminishes from its basis to its point, is a beautiful form. And it is in consequence of being so regarded that we find it so frequently employed, not only as a characteristic feature in the order of architecture just referred to, but in steeples, sepulchral monuments, and
other works of
art.

effect,

Mr. Triangular forms also are not without beauty Alison states, that the forms of Grecian and Roman furniture, in their periods of cultivated taste, were almost universally distinguished
is

" The feet ancient tripod 1 gradually lessening to the end, and converging as they approach it ; the plane of the table placed, with little ornament, nearly at right angles to the feet ; and the whole appearing to form an imThere is scarcely perfect triangle, whose base is above. in such a subject a possibility of contriving a more angular foim, yet theie can be none more completely beautiful/'

there,

he

inquires,

by straight or angular lines. What more beautiful than the form of the

In connexion witli* these statements, it is proper to add have much reason to a single explanatory remark. believe that the emotion will be stronger in all cases in

We

proportion as the beautiful object is distinctly and immeIt may be asserted, with diately embraced by the mind. undoubted good reason, that the square form has a degree of beauty as well as the circle, although it is generally conceded that it has less. But it is a matter of inquiry, whether the difference in this respect is owing so much o the original power of the forms themselves, as to the cir-

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

283

cumstance just alluded to. In other words, whether it be not owing to the fact, that the circle, being more simple, makes a more direct, entire, and decided impression ; whereas the attention is divided among the sides and anof the square and other similar figures.
^

gles

<

262

Of

the original or intrinsic beauty of colours

we advance in the further proceed to remark, as consideration of this interesting subject, that we experience emotions of beauty in beholding the colours, as well as in contemplating the outlines or forms of bodies. The doctrine which we hold is, that some colours^of
themselves, independently of the additional may subsequently be attached to them in consequence of certain associations, are fitted to excite within us those
interest

We

which

which authorize us in this, as well as feelings of pleasure in other analogous cases, to speak of the cause of them In other words, there are some colours as beautiful.
as we suppose, an original or intrinsic In support of this opinion, we are merely able beauty. to allude to some of the various considerations which natwithout entering into that jmiurally present themselves, nute exposition of them which would be admissible in a treatise professedly and exclusively devoted to the subject before us. The pleasure which results from the mere behold( 1.) of colours may be observed in very early life. It is ing in consequence of this pleasing emotion that the infant so early directs its eyes towards the light that breaks in from the window, or which reaches the sense of vision

which

possess,

from any other source.

It is pleasing to see with what evident ecstasy the shild rushes from flower to flower, and compares their brilliancy. Casting his eyes abroad in the pursuit of objects that are richly vanegated, he on every tree that is most pauses to gaze with admiration or that is burdened with profusely loaded with blossoms, It is because he is fruit of the deepest red and yellow. attracted with the brightness of its wings that he pursues the butterfly with a labour so unwearied, or suspends humhis sport to watch the wayward movements of the

ming-bird.

284

EMOTIONS OF 'BEAUTY

(2.) The same results are found also., very strikingly and generally, among all savage tribes. The sons of the forest are not so wholly untutored, so wholly devoid of

natural sensibility, that they will not sometimes forget the ardour of the chase in the contemplation of the flowers which bloom in the neighbourhood of their, path. Seeing

how

beautiful the fish of their lakes and rivers, the bird of their forests, and the forest tree itself, are rendered by colours, they commit the mistake of attempting to rendei

own bodies more beautiful by artificial hues. They value whatever dress they may have in proportion to the and variegated gaudiness of its colours; they weave rich
their

plumes into their hair ; and as they conjectured, from his Columbus was the captain of the Span* wont to intimate and express their own rank and dignity by the splendour of their equipments. which has been so often no(3.) And the same trait in a less ticed in Savages, may be observed also, though the uneducated classes in civilized comdegree, among
scarlet dress, that iards, so they are

In persons of refinement, the original tendenemotions from the contemplation cy of colours seems to have, in a measure, lost its power, in consequence of the developement of tendencies to receive In those, on the contrary, pleasure from other causes. who have possessed less advantages of mental culture,
munities.
to receive pleasing

,and whose sources of pleasure may in consequence be supposed to lay nearer to the surface of the mind, this Coloured objects gentendency remains undiminished. of pleasure; so erally affect them with a high degree much so that the absence of colour is not, in their estimation, easily compensated by the presence of any other cannot well suppose that there is any inqualities. termediate influence between the oeautiiui object and the

We

mind, of which this pleasure is the product ; but must rather conclude, in the circumstances of the case, that the presence of the object, and that only, is the ground of its
existence.
<

263

Further illustrations of the original beauty of colours

derive additional proof of the fact that colours are of themselves fitted to cause emotions of beauty

We may

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

285

from Tvhat we learn in the case of those persons who have been blind from birth, but in after life have sud or in some other way denly been restored by couching*, " I have couched," says Dr. Wardrop,* speaking of James Mitchell, "one of his eyes successfully; and he is much amused with the visible world, though he mis-

One day I got trusts information gained by that avenue. hun a new and gaudy suit of clothes, which delighted him beyond description. It was the most interesting scene oi
sensual gratification I ever beheld." But this person, it appears, had some faint notions of to the operation by which his light and colours previous And the powers of vision were more fully restored. facts, stated in connexion with his exercise of this imperfect vision, are equally decisive in

under consideration.
are as follows.
to

"

At

favour of the doctrine statements to which we refei the time of life when this boy began

The

walk, he seemed to be attracted by bright and dazzling and though everything connected with his hiscolours tory appears to prove that he derived little information from the organ, yet he received from it much sensual He used to hold between his eye and lugratification. minous objects such bodies as he found to increase, by their interposition, the quantity of light ; and it was one of his chief amusements to concentrate the sun's rays by
5

means of pieces of glass, transparent pebbles, or similar substances, which he held between his eye and the light, and turned about in various directions. These too he would often break with his teeth, and give them that
There were othmodes by which he was in the habit of gratifying this He would retire to any outhouse or to fondness for light. any room within his reach, shut the windows and doors, and remain there for some considerable time, with his eyes fixed on some small hole or chink which admitted the He would also, dusun's rays, eagerly watching them.
er

form which seemed to please him most.

room and kindle a

the ring the winter nights, often retire to a dark corner oi On these oclight for his amusement.

casions, as well as in the gratification of his other senses, his countenance and gestures displayed a most interesting

avidity
*

and

curiosity."
in his

A? quoted by Mr Stewart

account of Mitchell

286

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

conclusion which we deduce from these sources of that colours are fitted, from our very constitution, to produce within us emotions of beauty.

The

proof

is,

264,

Of sounds

considered as a source of beauty

next propose to inquire into the application of these And here also we have principles in respect to sounds. reason to believe that they hold good to a certain extent ;
in other words, that certain sounds are pleasing of themselves ; and are hence, agreeably to views already ex-

We

In proceeding, however, to pressed, termed BEAUTIFUL. the consideration of beauty as it exists in connexion

with sounds, it may be proper to recur to the remark which was made near the commencement of the chapter, that the sources or grounds of beauty, although the emotions they excite within us are all of essentially the

same

land, are very various.

In view of what was there said, we do not feel at liberty to doubt, as some may be disposed to do, whether there is beauty in sounds, merely because sounds are obviously altogether different from some other objects which constitute sources of beauty, such as It is not the intention of nature that colours or forms. the empire of the beautiful shall be limited in this manOn the contrary, if certain sounds have something ner. within them, which, from its very nature is calculated to
excite within us pleasing emotions, they are obviously dis-

tinguished

by

this

circumstance from other sounds, and

furnish a sufficient reason for our regarding speaking of them as BEAUTIFUL.

them and

(1.) In asserting, however, that there is an original beauty in sounds, we do not wish to be understood as saying that all sounds, of whatever kind, possess this There are some sounds which, in themselves character.

considered, are justly regarded as indifferent, and others No one would hesitate in as positively disagreeable. pronouncing the discordant creaking of a wheel, the filing

of a saw, the braying of the ass, the scream of a peacock, or the hissing of a serpent, to be disagreeable. There are other sounds, such as the bleating of the lamb, the lowing of the cow, the call of the goat, and other notes and cries of animals, which appear to be, in themselves,

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.
are entirely indifferent. of as beautiful; times spoken

We

aware that they are some-

nor is it necessary to deny of that they are sometimes heard with a high degree But we regard the beauty in this case as rathpleasure. of acceser associated than intrinsic; the result rather circumstances than of the thing itself. The happy sory of the remarks of Mr. Alison, going to show the nature which is ordinarily felt at such times, will be read beauty with interest. " The is beautiful in a fine day in bleating of a lamb in the dept*. of winter it is very far from being spring;
so.

in summer, is extremely beaury of a pastoral landscape The it is absolutely disagreeable. tiful ; in a farmyard hum of the beetle is beautiful in a fine summer evening, as appearing to suit the stillness and repose of that pleasthe noon of day it is perfectly indifferent. ing season : in of the swallow is beautiful in the morning, The twitter and seems to be expressive of the cheerfulness of that time ; at any other hour it is quite insignificant. Even in the song of the nightingale, so wonderfully charming is altogether disregarded during the twilight or at night, the day ; in so much so, that it has given rise to the " common mistake that this bird does not sing but at night
<5

The lowing

of a

cow

at a distance,

amid the scene-

265

Illustrations of the original beauty of

sounds

which are properly termed is original or intrinsic, and musical, have a beauty which
those (2.) Other sounds,
It

not merely accessory.

is

have

different casts or styles of music, modified

situation

and habits of the people; accan properly be called music, whatever occasional or its nature more cidental modification it may assume, is in Musical sounds, independently of their or less beautiful. are characterized in a way and
combinations

true that different nations by the but everything that

which

expression, from all others 5 viz., by the distinguishes them of their possessing certain mathematical circumstance Such sounds their times of vibration. proportions in us originally ; in other words, whenever, in aU orplease are heard, they please natural dinary circumstances, they are aware that attempts have ly and necessarily.

We

288

FMOTIONS OF BEAUTi',

sometimes been made to explain the pleasure which is those of a received from musical sounds, as well as from But different character, on the doctrine of association.

some of there are various difficulties in this explanation, which will now he referred to. we are led to expect, from the (L) In the first place, of things which we witness in other cases, that analogy we shall find, in the human heart also, an original sensiconsideration. to the beautiful in the matter under

We refer now to

bility

what we

very; animals; and although to this view of the subject, it weight should be attached some matter for reflection. Why certainly furnishes with musical should brute animals be originally pleased we may well suppose to have as sounds, and man, whom be naturally destitute of the of this

we do

in the lower frequently notice much not claim that

much need

pleasure, In regard to brute animals, it? capability of receiving of them,) there is no possibut

(we do not say

all,

many

in this inquiry ble question as to the fact involved the numberless varieties which they^ exhibit, Through all with strict truth, from the mouse, of which Linnseus says " DELECTATra MUsiCA," to the elephant on the banks of the his unwieldy dance to the rude Niaer, that responds with untutored African, they yield their instrument of the To attempt to homage to the magic of sweet sounds. receive on the ground of assoexplain the pleasure they The simridiculous.
ciation

would be

difficult,

It is the listen and are delighted. ple fact is, that they and nothing but the sound, which excites the joy sound, So great is the acknowledged power of they exhibit. tradimusic over many brute animals, that the classical the achievements of the early poets tions which celebrate and musicians scarcely transcend the bounds of truth. For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' smews,
'<

perhaps

Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands

Whose golden touch could soften steel and Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans

stones,

"

of

with ing associations

before they have had an opportunity of connectthem to any great extent, are highwith musical sounds. This is a fast which ly pleased
life,

second place, children, at an early period (2.) In the

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

289

cannot suppose has escaped the notice of any one. make his appearance in a country village/ with his fife, bagpipe, or hand-orwhich are not supposed to possess the gan, (instruments claims to musical power,) and it is surprising to highest see with what an outburst of joy the sound is welcomed clus< to the heart of childhood. Delighted countenances and merry groups, that just before ter at the windows made the streets ring with their noise, suddenly leave their sports, and rush with a new and delighted impulse This is univerto the presence of the strolling minstrel. the fact ; and when we consider the early ^age at sally which it takes place, it seems to be inconsistent with any other view than that which ascribes to sounds of a cer-

we

Let a wandering musician suddenly

,*

tain character (3.)

same result in Savbecome acquainted with the age tribes, instruments of music, however simple or imperfect they skill. may be, which have been fabricated by European

We witness, furthermore, the


when they
first

an original or

intrinsic attraction.

It is

said of the native inhabitants of this country, that of the Spaniards, when they they frequently purchased to America, small bells j and when they himp first came them on their persons, and heard their clear musical sounds responding to the movement of their dances, they
^

with the highest possible delight. At in the history of the country, it is related by one period of the Jesuit missionaries, that once coming into the comof certain ignorant and fierce Indians, he met with

were

filled

latei

pany

a rude and menacing reception, which foreboded no very favourable termination. As it was not his design, howcontention if it could possibly be ever, to enter into any on a stringavoided, he immediately commenced playing ed instrument; their feelings were softened at once ; and the evil spirit of jealousy and anger, which they exhibited on his first approach to them, fled from their minds."* cannot suppose it necessary to multiply instances to

We
the

same

effect.

* Ses
terly

Irving's Life

and Voyages of Columbus, ch


,

ix

London Quar-

Review,

vol. xxvi

p 287.

290
$ 266.

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.
Further instances of the original beauty of sounds

the fourth place, deaf persons, who have (4.) In restored to the sense of hearing, and also suddenly sons who, in consequence of their peculiar situation, neyer heard musical sounds till a certain period of
life,

beer
per-

have
their

therefore been unable, in either case, to form associations with such sounds, either pleasant or unthem for the first pleasant, have "been found, on hearing So far as time, to experience a high degree of pleasure. we have been able to learn, we believe this to be the fact.

and have

the same time, as instances of this kind seldom occur, still less frequently recorded, we do not profess to with an entire rely upon the statement as universally true, degree of confidence. The circumstances which are related of Hauser, on hearing musical sounds for the

At

and are

The time, are one of the few instances in point. " Not statement is as follows. only his mind, but many of his senses, appeared at first to be in a state of stupor, and only gradually to open to the perception of external It was not before the lapse of several days that
first

Caspar

objects.

he began to notice the striking of the steeple clock and This threw him into the greatthe ringing of the bells. est astonishment, which at first was expressed only by his motions of his listening looks and by certain spasmodic countenance j but it was soon succeeded by a stare of benumbed meditation. Some weeks afterward the nuptial procession of a peasant passed by the tower, with a band of music, close under his window. He suddenly stood listening, motionless as a statue ; his countenance appeared to be transfigured, and his eyes, as it were, to irradiate his ecstasy $ his ears and eyes seemed continually to follow the movements of the sounds as they receded more and more; and they had long ceased to be

audible, while he still continued immoveably fixed in a listening posture, as if unwilling to lose the last vibrations of these, to him, celestial notes, or as if his soul had fol-

lowed them and


bility."*
$

left his

body behind

it

in torpid insensi-

267 The permanency

of musical

power dependent on

its

being intrinsic

On

the subject of the original rr intrinsic beauty of cer^


*

Lufe of Caspar U*a*eft ra

1*1

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

291

tain sounds, one other remark remains to be made here. It will be recollected, that the doctrine which we are

which musical sounds opposing is, that all the power have, considered as a sovrce of beauty, is wholly resolve If this be true, then it seems to be ble into association.
the proper business of professed composers of music to rather than study the nature and tendency of associations The common supposition in this matter un of sounds. indoubtedly is, that the musical composer exercises his vention and taste, in addition to the general conception
or outline of his work, in forming perfect chords, varied This is a principal, not modulation, and accurate rythm. the only one, but a principal field of his labours; the theatre on which his genius is especially* displayed , and

without these results of chord, modulation, and rythm, it But if the is certain that his efforts will fail to please. doctrine which we are opposing be true, would it not be the fact, that he could bring together the most harsh and discordant sounds, and compose, by means of them, the he took the pains to covei great works of his art, provided their deformity by throwing over them some fascinating dress of association ? But we presume it will not be pretended that mere association possesses this power as a

Furthermore, general thing, even in the hands of genius. we do not hesitate to say, that from the nature of the case, the musical genius which composes its works for esimmortality must deal chiefly with the elements and sentialities of things, and not with the mere incidents and in the works of art, of course, accessories.

Permanency

foundation. implies a corresponding permanency in their Associations are correctly understood to be, from theii nature, uncertain and changeable, while the beauty

very of some musical compositions (we speak but the common sentiment of mankind in saying it) is imperishable ; a fact which seems to be inconsistent with its being founded on

an unfixed and evanescent


368

basis.

Of motion as an element of beauty.

tion,

new and distinct object of contemplahas usually been reckoned a source of the beautiful, forest or a field of grain, gently waved and very justly.
Motion
also, a

292

EMOTIONS OF BEAUTY.

And ^the waves, too, or to tell why they exist. feelings, around it, which are continually approaching and departin huge masses, and then breaking, and curling upward asunder into fragments of every shape, present a much ing more pleasing appearance than they would if profoundly
quiet

The motion of a windby the wind, affects us pleasantly. not only because the river if? ing river pleases ; and this, are de it is never at rest. serpentine, but because the motion of a ship as it cleaves the sea lighted with look on as it moves like a thing of under full sail. Iife 3 and are pleased without being able to control our

We

We

the foaming breaks out from the summit of the mountain With what pleasing and dashes downward to its base satisfaction we gaze upon a column of smoke ascending
cascade, as
it
!

With what happy enthusiasm we behold

and stagnant.

the favourite suggestions which are tage is caused by connected with it, of rural seclusion, peace, and abundance. But there is much reason to believe that the feelthe same, if it were known ing would be, to some extent, to ascend from the uncomfortable wigwam of the Savage, from an accidental conflagration, or from the fires of a wandering horde of gipsies. And if motion, on the limited scale on which we are accustomed to view it, be beautiful, how great would be the ecstasy of our feelings if we could be placed on some pinnacle of the universe, and could take in at one glance the regular and unbroken movement of the worlds and systems of infinite space.
$ 269. Explanation of the beauty of motion from Kaimes.

from a cottage in a wood ; a trait in outward scenery which landscape painters, who must certainly be accounted good judges of what is beautiful in the aspects of exIt ternal nature, are exceedingly fond of introducing. be said in this case, we are aware, that the pleasure may the ascending smoke of the cotarising from beholding

Criticism, who studied our emotions with great care, has the following explana" Motion is tions on this subject. certainly agreeable in all its varieties of quickness and slowness ; hut motion long continued admits some exceptions. Tha+ degree of

The author of the Elements of

ASSOCIATED BEAUTY.

293

of our perceptions is the most agreeable^ The quickest motion is for an instant delightful ; but it soon appears to be too rapid : it becomes painful by forcibly^ acceleraof our perceptions. Slow, continued moting the course tion becomes disagreeable for an opposite reason, that it retards the natural course of our perceptions. " There are other varieties in motion, besides quickness

continued motion which corresponds to the nataral course

and slowness, that make it more or less agreeable : regular motion is preferred before what is irregular ; witness the motion of the planets in orbits nearly circular the motion of the comets in orbits less regular is less agreeable. " Motion an ascenduniformly accelerated, resembling series of numbers, is more agreeable than when uniing the eleis agreeable by formly retarded motion upward What then shall we say of vation of the moving body. downward motion regularly accelerated by the force of with upward motion regularly retardgravity, compared Which of these is the most ed by the same force ? ? This question is not easily solved. agreeable " Motion in a : but straight line is no doubt agreeable
:

of a flame, of prefer undulating motion, as of waves, a ship under sail: such motion is more free and also " more natural. Hence the beauty of a serpentine river

we

CHAPTER

HI.

ASSOCIATED BEAUTY.
270
Associated beauty implies an antecedent or intrinsic beauty.

the subject of beauty, which we think it the positions, FIRST, that important to enforce, involve there is an original or intrinsic beauty ; and SECOND, that In opposithere is a beauty dependent on association. tion to those persons who may be disposed to maintain that no object is beautiful of itself, but that all its beauty

THE views on

depends on association,
troduce

we

what we regard

as

B B2

wish, in this connexion, to inan important remark of Mi

294

ASSOCIATED BEAUTY.

" which " The resolves Stewart theory," he remarks, into Association, must the whole effect of beautiful objects of paralogism, to which necessarily involve that species It is the of reasoning in a cirde. logicians give the name to one thing the dispiovince of association to impart effect of another ; but associa agreeable or the agreeable tion can never account for the origin of a class of pleasIf ures different in kind from all the others we know.
there
rials

was nothing originally and intrinsically pleasing 01 beautiful, the associating principle would have no matecould operate."* be true, appears to be decisive on And that it is true, we think must the subject before us. appear from the very nature of association. What we term association, it will be recollected, does not so much express a state of the mind, a thought, a feeling, a passion, as it does a principle or law of the mind ; in other words, the circumstance under which a new state of mind takes place. Association, therefore, as Mr. Stewart intimates, does not of itself originate or create anything^ but acts in reference to what is already created or origiit

on which

This remark,

if it

Something must be given for it to act upon. If imparts beauty to one object, it must find it in another. If the beauty exists in that other object in consequence of association, it must have been drawn from some other
nated.
it

source still more remote. If, therefore, association merely takes the beauty on its wings, if we may be allowed the
expression, and transfers it from place to place, there must, of necessity, be somewhere an original or intrinsic beauty, which is made the subject of such transfer.
$ 27i

Objects

may become

beautiful

by association merely.

In accordance with what has thus far been said on this whole subject, it will be kept in mind, that some of the forms, of which matter is susceptible, are pleasing of themselves and originally ; also that we are unable to bohold certain colours, and to listen to certain and
sounds,

gaze upon particular expressions of the countenance, and to contemplate high intellectual and moral excellence,
without emotions in a greater or less degree delightful
* Essay on the Beautiful, chapter
vi.

ASSOCIATED BEAUTY.

295

At the same time,, it must be admitted, that in the course of our experience we find a variety of objects, that seem, as they are presented to us, to be unattended with any emotion whatever ; objects that are perfectly indifferent And yet these objects, however wanting in beauty to the great mass of men, are found to be invested in the minds of some with a charm, allowedly not their own. These objects, which previously excited no feelings of beauty, may become beautiful to us in consequence of the associations which we attach to them. That is to say, when the objects are beheld, certain former pleasing feelings peculiar to ourselves are recalled. The lustre of a spring morning, the radiance of a summer evening, may of themselves excite in us a pleasing emotion ; but as our busy imagination, taking advantage of the images of delight which are before us, is ever at
constantly forming new images, there is, in combination with the original emotion of beauty, a superadded delight. And if, in these instances, only a part of the beauty is to be ascribed to association, there are some others where the whole is to be considered as derived from that source.

work and

Numerous

instances can be given of the

power of

as-

sociation, not only hi heightening the actual charms of objects, but in spreading a sort of delegated lustre around

those that were entirely before. does uninteresting decaying house appear beautiful to me, which is yon indifferent to another? are the desolate fields around it clothed with delight, while others see in them nothing that is pleasant ? It is because that house form-

Why

Why

erly detained me as one of its inmates at its fireside, and those fields were the scenes of many youthful sports. When I now behold them after so long a time, the joyous emotions which the remembrance of my early days calls

up within me, are, by the power of association, thrown around the objects which are the cause of the remembrances.
272 Further
illustrations of associated feelings

He who travels through a well-cultivated country town, cannot but be pleased with the various objects which he

296
beholds
;

ASSOCIATED BEAUTY.

the neat and comfortable dwellings ; the meadwith herds of catows, that are peopled with flocks and of thick tle 3 the fields of grain, intermingled with reaches and dark forest. The whole scene is a beautiful one ; the

we suppose to be partly original ; a person, on restored to sight by couching for the cataract, and being havino- had no opportunity to form associations with it,
emotion

But a for the first time with delight. of the pleasure is owing to the associaconsiderable part ted feelings which arise on beholding such a scene; these of man; these fields are the dwellings are the abode

wo ulcf witness

it

amply place of his labours, here are contentment, the interchange of heartfelt joys, and " ancient truth."
;

and

reward him

for his toil

Those who have travelled over places that have been memorable events, will not be likely to sussignalized by
too great a share of our emotions pect us of attributing It is true, that, in a country so new as to association. as a EuAmerica, we are unable to point so frequently that have witnessed achievedo to
^

if he did not stop at the Rock of impulses of the heart the landing-place of the Pilgrim Fathers Plymouth, Not because there is anything in the scenery, either of the ocean or the land, which presents claims upon him more so as that of some other places. imperative, or so much But there is a moral power, the spirit of great achievements hovering around the spot, (explainable on the prinand on them alone,) which spreads ciples of association itself over the hard features of the soil, and illuminates the bleakness of the sky, and harmonizes what would be and forbidding into a scene of touching otherwise

places ropean might ments ancf sufferings of such a character as to become sacred in a nation's memory. But there are some such With whatever emotion or want of consecrated spots. the traveller may pass by other places of our emotion wild and stormy coast, he would do violence to the finest
^

loveliness

rugged and beauty.

The powerful
gpot, whether
ty,

feeling
call
it

we
a

which exists on visiting such a an emotion of beauty or sublimi-

or give

it

name

graders essentially the

expressive of some intermediate same with that which is caused w

ASSOCIATED BEAUTY.

297

the boson? of the traveller when he looks for the first There are othej time upon the hills of the city of Rome. cities of greater extent, and washed "by nobler rivers, than the one which is before him ; but upon no others has he He beholds ever gazed with such intensity of feeling. what was once the mistress of the world ; he looks upon the ancient dwelling-place of Brutus, of Cicero, and of the

The imagination is at once peopled with whatCaesars. ever was noble in the character and remarkable in the achievements of that extraordinary nation ; and there is a strength, a fulness of emotion, which would never have been experienced without the accession of those great and It is in connexion with the prinexciting remembrances! of this chapter, and in allusion to places of historiciples cal renown, that Rogers, in his Pleasures of Memory, has
said,

with equal philosophical truth and poetical " And hence the charms historic scenes impart Hence Tiber awes, and Avon melts the heart
; ,

skill

Aerial forms in Tempo's classic vale, Glance through the gloom, and whisper in the gale In wild Vaucluse with love and Laura dwell, And watch and weep in Eloisa's cell "

273 Instances of national associations.

influence of association in rousing up and in givto particular classes of emotions, may be striiiig strength seen in some national instances. Every country

The

kingly These excite a much stronger has its favourite tunes. The native inhabitants than in strangers. feeling in the effect on the Swiss soldiers of the Ranz des Vaches, their national air, whenever they happen to hear it in foreign

So great was this eflands, has often been mentioned. in France to forbid its fect, that it was found necessary in the Swiss corps in the employment of the
being played

French government The powerful effect of this song cannot be supposed to be owing to any peculiar merits in the composition ; but to the pleasing recollections which it ever vividly brings up to the minds of the Swiss, of mountan life, of freedom, and of domestic pleasures. The English have a popular tune called Belleisle March. Its popularity is said to have been owing to the
circumstance that
it

was played when the English army

298
marched

ASSOCIATED BEAUTY.
into Belleisle,

and

to its consequent association

with remembrances of war and of conquest. And it will be found true of all national airs, that they have a charm for the natives of the country, inconsequence of the recollections connected with them, which they do not possess for the inhabitants of other countries.

We have abundant illustrations of

the same fact in re-

The purple colour has acquired an exspect to colours. or character of dignity, in consequence of having pression been the common cclour of the dress of kings ; among the Chinese, however, yellow is the most dignified colour, and evidently for no other reason than because yellow is that which is allotted to the royal family. In many counof gravity, and is used particutries, "black is expressive
^

of distress and mourning ; and white is larly in seasons a cheerful colour. But among the Chinese white is gloo-

is not unfrebrought forward. The effect of association and entirely throw out the ori^uently such as to suppress of an object, and to substitute a new one ginal character Who has not felt, both in man and woman, in its stead. that a single crime, that even one unhappy deed of meanness or dishonour, is capable of throwing a darkness and The distortion over the charms of the most perfect form ? seems to have departed ; and no effort of reasoning glory or of imagination can fully restore it.

mourners ; and in Spain my, because it is the dress of and among the Venetians black has a cheerful expression, in consequence of being worn by the great Many other illustrations to the same purpose might be

274 The sources of associated beauty coincident with those of human


happiness.

It would be a pleasing task to point out more particuof associated beauty, if it were larly some of the sources But consistent with the plan which we propose to follow.
it

line of

has been our object throughout to give the sketch or outa system, rather than indulge in minuteness of speAnd as to the subject which we now alliile cification. to, it could hardly be expected that \\ e should attempt to explain it extensively, much less exhaust it, when we
consider that the sources of associated beauty are as wide and as numerous as the sources of man's happiness-

ASSOCIATED BEAUTY.

299

The

fountains of

human

pleasure, connected with the

senses, the intellect, the morals,

and the

social

and

reli-

And whengious relations, are exceedingly multiplied. ever the happiness we experience, from whatever source with a beautiful it proceed, is brought into intimacy
we generally find that the beauty of the object is In other cases, the asheightened by that circumstance. sociation is so strong, that a beauty is shed upon objects which are confessedly destitute of it in themselves. It is that the sources of associated enough, therefore, to say, as the unexplored domain beauty are necessarily as wide of human joy.
object,
$ 275

may

Summary of views

in

regard to the beautiful.

As the subject of emotions of beauty is one of no small be of advantage to give here a brief difficulty, it may summary of some of the prominent views in respect to it. of beauty it is difficult to give a def(1.) Of emotions inition, but we notice in them two marks or characteristics. They imply, first, a degree of pleasure, and secto external objects as ondly, are always referred by us their cause.
beautiful object has something in itself, ("2.) Every which discriminates it from other objects that are not On this ground we may with propriety speak beautiful. At the same time, a superadded of beauty in the object. lustre is reflected back upon it from the mind ; and this too, whether the beauty be original or associated. term an emotion of beauty (3.) The feeling which we is not limited to natural scenery, but may be caused also by the works of art, by the creations of the imagination, and by the various forms of intellectual and moral nature, All these so far as they can be presented to the mind. various objects and others may excite within us feelings of pleasure, and the mind, in its turn, may reflect back upon the objects the lustre of its own emotions, and thus

increase the degree of their beauty. is in the mind an original susceptibility of (4.) There emotions in general, and of those of beauty in particular; and not this, some objects are found in the constitution

only of things to be followed by these feelings of beauty.

300

EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY.
;

while others are not

and such objects are spoken of as

oeing originally beautiful. That is, when the object is presented to the mind, it is of itself followed by emotions of beauty, without being aided by the influence of accessory and contingent circumstances, (5.) Without pretending to certainty in fixing upon those objects, to which what is termed original or intrinsic beauty maybe ascribed, there appears to be no small reason in attributing it to certain forms, to sounds of a particular character, to bright colours, to some varieties of motion, and, we may add, to intellectual and moral excellence, whenever it can be made a distinct object of per
ception.
(6.) objects, which cannot be consideied beautiful of themselves, become such by being associated with

Many

a variety of former pleasing and enlivening recollections ; and such as possess beauty of themselves may augment the pleasing emotions from the same cause. Also much of the difference of opinion which exists as to what objects are beautiful and what are not, difference of association. These are
is to

be ascribed to some of the prom-

inent views resulting from inquiries into this subject

CHAPTER

IV.

EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY
276

Connexion between beauty ahd sublimity.


distinction,

THOSE emotions which, by way of

we

desig-

nate as SUBLIME, are a class of feelings which have much in common with emotions of beauty , they do not appear to differ so much in nature or kind as in When degree.

two

the feelings which are embraced under these designations, we readily perceive that they have a that there are numerous degrees in point of progression ; intensity; but the emotion, although more vivid in one case than the other, and mingled with some foreign elements, is, for the most part, essentially the same. So that

we examine

EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY.
it

e>01

is

by no means impossible

to trace, in a multitude of

a connexion even between the fainter feelings of beauty and the most overwhelming emotions of the subcases,

lime.

This progression of our feelings, from one that is genfe to one that is powerful, and even painful, has been illustrated in the case of a person who is supposed to behold a river at its first rise in the mountains, and to follow it as it winds and enlarges in the subjacent last losing itself in the expanse plains, and to behold it at of the ocean. For a time, the feelings which are excited within him, as he gazes on the prospect, are what are teimed emotions of beauty. As the small stream which

and pleasant

had

hitherto played in the uplands, and amid foliage that it from his view, increases its waters, separates its banks to a great distance from each other, and becomes

almost hid

the majestic river, his feeling's are of a more powerful kind. often, by way of distinction, speak of the feelas emotions of existing under such circumstances ings At last it expands and disappears in the im-

We

grandeur. mensity of the ocean the vast illimitable world of billows flashes in his sight. Then the emotion, widening and strengthening with the magnitude and energy of the
:

which accompany it, becomes sublime. Emotions of sublimity, therefore, chiefly differ, at least in most instances, from those of beauty in being more vivid.
objects
$

277 The occasions of the emotions of sublimity various

As the emotions of sublimity are simple, they are conNevertheless, as they are the disequently undefinable. rect subjects of our consciousness, we cannot be supposed It may aid, however, in io be ignorant of their nature. rendering our comprehension of them more distinct and clear in some respects, if we mention some of the occasions on which they arise. But, before proceeding to do
this, it is

insisted

proper to recur a moment to a subject more fully on in the chapter on Beauty, but which also prophave reference to the unqueserly has a place here. We
tionable fact, that the occasions of sublime emotions are not exclusively one ; in other words, are not found in a be likely to single element merely, as some persons may

Co

302

EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY.

suppose, but, like those of beauty, are multiplied and vaThe measure of the sublimity of the object is the rious. character of the emotion which it excites ; and if the sublime emotion exists, as unquestionably it does on various occasions, this of itself is decisive as to the remark which has been made. Accordingly, the proper object before of us, in the first instance, seems to be to indicate some
these occasions.
278
Great extent or expansion an occasion of sublimity

In endeavouring to point out some of the sources of that the emotion of the subsublimity, our first remark is, lime may arise in view of an object which is characterized by vast extent or expansion ; in other words, by the attribute of mere horizontal amplitude. Accordingly, it is with entire propriety that Mr. Stewart makes a remark to this effect, that a Scotchman, who had never witnessed an emotion anything of the kind before, would experience to sublimity on beholding, for the first time, approaching the vast plains of Salisbury and Yorkshire in England. Washington Irving also, in a passage of the Alhambra, " There is has a remark to the same purport. something/ " in the he observes, sternly simple features of the Spanish landscape, that impresses on the soul a feeling of The immense plains of the Castiles and La sublimity. Mancha, extending as far as the eye can reach, derive an
5

from their very nakedness and immensity, and have something of the solemn grandeur of the ocean." In regard to the ocean, one of the most sublime objects which the human mind can contemplate, it cannot be doubted that one element of its sublimity is the unlimited
interest

expanse which

it

presents.
.

$ 279. Great height an element or occasion of subLniit)

height, independently of considerations of expansion or extent, appears also to constitute an occasion of the sublime. Every one has experienced this, when standing at the base of a very steep and lofty cliff, hill, or mountain. When, in the silence of night, we stand under the clear, open sky, we can hardly fail, as we look upwards to experience a sublime emotion, occasioned

Mere

EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY.
partly by the immensity Travellers vast height.

303

the elevation of two hundred and thirty feet ; an immense an object. It is not in human nature to height for such without strong feeling, such a vast vault of solid behold, blue upper air, and limestone, springing lightly into the thus outstretched, as if it were the arm of the

tor,

of the object, but also in part by have often spoken of the suboccasioned by viewing the celebrated Natlime emotion ural Bridge in Virginia from the bottom of the deep raThis bridge is a single vine over which it is thrown. solid rock, about sixty feet broad, ninety feet long, and It is suspended over the head of the spectaforty thick. who views it from the bottom of the nanow^ glen, at
its

remaining

Almighty himself,
280

silent,

unchangeable, eternal.

Of depth

in connexion with the sublime.

It is a circumstance confirmatory of the view, that it is of sublimity into a sinimpossible to resolve the grounds occasion or element, that we find the depth as well as gle the height of things, the downward as well as the upward, are doubtthe antecedent and cause of this emotion. is so decisively, as it is cerful, however, whether depth a cause, as elevation or height; tainly not so frequently which last., on account of its frequent connexion with their of feelings existence, has given the name to this class Mr. Burke has the folthink But others

We

I am apt imagine, lowing passage on this point. and that we are more, height is less grand than depth ; struck at looking down from a precipice than looking up but of that I am not very at an object of equal height

may

differently.

"

to

that

positive."

subBut, however this may be, there is no doubt that When we are lime emotions may arise from this cause. of any high object, and look downplaced on the summit ward into the vast opening below, it is impossible not to be strongly Affected. The sailor on the wide ocean, when, in the solitary watches of the night, he casts his eye up* ward to the lofty, illuminated sky, has a sublime emotion ; and he feels the same strong sentiment Stirling within a moment afterward, he thinks of the vast, unhim

when,

fathomable abyss beneath him, over which he tVp frail nlank of his vessel

is

suspended

304
281

EMDTIONS 0? SUBLIMITY.
Of
colours in connexion with the sublime

The
to

colours also, as well as the form of bodies, may, limited extent, furnish the occasion of sublime emo-

The lightning, when at a distance it is seen darting to the earth in one continuous chain of overpowering brightness; the red meteor shooting athwart the still, dark sky ; the crimson Aurora Borealis, which occasionover the hemijphere ally diffuses the tints of the morning of midnight, are sublime objects ; and, although there are other elements which unite in forming the basis of the
tions.

sublime emotion, it is probably to be ascribed, in part, fa What object is the richness and vividness of coiours. more sublimely impressive than the contrasted hues of the mingling fires and smoke of a burning volcano ? DarkWhen ness, particularly, is an element of the sublime.
the clouds are collecting together on some distinct and distant portion of the sky, how intently the eye fixes itself on those masses which wear the visage of the deepest

gloom ! Forests, and frowning cliffs, and mountains, and the wide ocean itself, and whatever other objects are susstill more sublime by ceptible of sublimity, are rendered the shades and darkness that are sometimes made to pass over them. The poets of all countries have repiesented the Deity, the most sublime object of contemplation, as " He bowed the enthroned in the midst of darkness. and came down ; and darkness was under heavens also, his feet He made darkness his secret place ; his pavilion round about were dark waters, and thick clouds of the
skies."
$ 282.

Of sounds

as furnishing an occasion of

suonme emotions

another element of the sublime in sounds of a There are some cries and voices of certain description. animals which are usually regarded as sublime. The roai of the lion, not only in the solitudes of his native deserts, but at all times, partakes of the character of sublimity. The human voice, in combination with a suitable number of other voices, is capable of uttering sublime sounds;

We find

and does, in fact, utter them in performing many of the works of the great masters and composers of music There is no small degree of sublimity in the low, deej

EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY.

and remurmur of the organ, independently of the moral with it. It is presumed no lioious associations connected
of a one will doubt, that the trumpet, in the hands
performer,
is

skilful

most every one must have noticed a peculiarly impressive sound sent forth by a large and compact forest of pines, when waved by a heavy wind, which obviously has the same character. The heavy and interminable sound of the the shore, is sublime ; and hardly as ft breaks

capable of originating

sublime sounds.

Al-

upon ocean, waters of less so the ceaseless voice of the congregated some vast cataract. To these instances may be added the the sound of a cannon, not only when it comes from more the field of battle, but at any time; and still The latter sound is often menmighty voice of thunder. tioned in the Scriptures, in connexion with the attributes of the Supreme Being, and apparently for the purpose " The Lord of heightening the idea of his sublimity. the heavens, and the Highest gave his also thundered in " The voice of the Lord is voice." upon the waters ; the
of glory thundereth." with introducing a part of the subject which goes to confirm the general remark from Coleridge, He had been doctrine of the sublimity of some sounds. of the scenery of the lake of Ratzesaying something adds: "About a month ago, before the burg, when he there was a storm of wind. During the thaw came on, whole night, such were the thunders and howling^ of the left a conviction on my mind that that

God

We leave this

breaking

there are sounds

more sublime than any sight can be, more the power of comparison^ and more absolutely suspending
the mind's self-consciousness in

ice,

they

utterly absorbing attention to the object

its total

working upon

it."*

283
It will

Of motion

in connexion with, the sublime.

be noticed, from the train of thought which has been pursued, that there is a close analogy between beaunot only in the feelings which are origity and sublimity,
of their origin. As the nated, but also in the occasions of beauty were found to be connected not sentiments of objects, but also with colours and only with the forms
*

The

Friend,

Cc2

Am. ed page 323


,

306

EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY*

And furthersounds, so also are those of sublimity. itself with certain more, as we found beauty connecting kinds of motion, we find motion^ the basis likewise, in some of its modifications, of emotions of the sublime^ often experience, for instance, emotions of sublimin witnessing objects that move with great swiftness. ity This is one source of the feelings we have at beholding bodies of water rushing violently down a cataract. For the same reason, although there are undoubtedly other elements of the emotions we feel, the hurricane, that hastens

We

onward with
er
it is

irresistible velocity,

and
also

meets, emotion which men have often felt, part of that sublime on seeing at a distance the electric fluid darting from the cloud to the earth, and at witnessing the sudden flight

sublime.

And here

lays waste whatevwe find a cause of

of a meteor.
$ 284. Tndications of

of the sublime. power accompanied by emotions

with this species of emotion. terial, may be attended not of Power, for instance, is an attribute of mind, and and the exhibition of it is frequently sublime. It matter, this remark, that is hardly necessary to say, in making which is addressed directly to the is not power anything outward senses ; but is rather presented to the mind as an Nevertheless, the causes of object of inward suggestion. this suggestion may exist in outward objects ; and, whenever this is the case, the feelings with which we contem-

The contemplation of mental

objects,

as well as of

ma-

such objects are generally increased. In other words, whatever sublimity may characterize an object, if,
plate
in addition to
to us
its other sublime traits, it strongly suggests the idea of power, the sublime feeling is more or less

heightened by this suggestion. than a volcano, throwing Nothing can be more sublime out from its bosom clouds, and burning stones, and im-

mense

And it is unquestionable, that the rivers of lava. sublime emotion is attributable, in part, to the overwhelming
indications of
is

power which

are thus given.

An

sublime 5 not only in its mightier efforts earthquake of destruction, but hardly less so in those slighter tremthe earth, which indicate the foot blings and heavings of

EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY.
steps of

307

large gives. concentrates the most terrible exhibition of human enerwith an increased sublimity for the same gy, is attended But in all these instances, as in most others, the reason. sublime emotion cannot be ascribed solely to one cause; to vast extent ; something something is to be attributed or darkness of coleffect of the to the
original

of rub. The ocean, greatly power rather than with a storm, and tossing the largest navies as agitated on account if in sport, possesses an increase of sublimity, it at of the more striking indications of power which armies also, which The shock of such a time

ours

and something
385 Of the

brilliancy to feelings of dread and danger.

of objects. original or primary sublimity

If there be a connexion

sublime;

if

between the beautiful and and sublimity are only beauty, grandeur,

names

for various emotions, not so

much

differing in

kind

as in degree, essentially the same views which were advanced in respect to beauty will hold here. ^lt will folsome objects is attended low, if the contemplation of with emotions of beauty, independently of associated feelif they hare a primary or origiings j or, in other words, nal beauty, that there are objects also originally sublime. Hence we may conclude, that whatever has great height, or great depth, or vast extent, or other attributes of the us emotions of sublimisublime, will be able to excite in of themselves, independently of the subordinate or ty from any connnected feelings. secondary aid arising
^ ^

in proof of the original sublimity of objects $ 286. Considerations


is such primary or originot only in view of the between the connexion which has been stated to exist it is no doubt agreeabeautiful and sublime, but because But, in resting ble to the common experience of men. on to rest) the proposition (where undoubtedly it ought we must inquire, as in former chapters, into experience, And this for the obvious reathe feelings of the young. are somewhat advanced in age, son, that, when persons the primary from the secondary it is difficult to separate They have then become mexor associated

It

may be

inferred, that there

nal sublimity in

some

objects,

sublimity.

308
tricably

EMOTIONS OF SUBLIMITY.

mingled together.

Now

take a child, and place


full sight

him suddenly on the shores of the ocean, or in of darkly wooded mountains of great altitude,
the clouds, and
fires,

or before
in
his

and thunders of volcanoes 5 and,


filled

most

cases,

he

will

be

with sublime emotions

mind

fro like the

will swell at the perception \ it will heave^to and ocean itself in a tempest. His eye, his couninternal tenance, his gestures, will indicate a power of the limited language he can command is feeling, which unable to express. This may well be stated as a fact, because it has been frequently noticed by those who are competent to observe. can succeed in conveying to a child, if a

ideas of whatever kind, simby means of words, sublime


ilar

Again,

person

in

emotions will be found to exist, although generally less degree than when objects are directly presented to the senses. There is an incident in the life of Sir William Jones " In his fifth which will serve to illustrate this statement. over the leaves of a was one as he turning

another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud ; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of
fire."*

which he felt when he tioning the rapture The passage referred to is as follows.

Bible in his mother's closet, his attention was forcibly arrested by the sublime description of the angel in the tenth and the impression which his chapter of the Apocalypse ; from it was never effaced. At a imagination received he considered the passage as period of mature judgment, in the inspired writers, and far equal in sublimity to any could be produced from mere human superior to any that and mencompositions ; and he was fond of retracing
first

year,

morning

read
I

it."

"And

saw

287 Influence

of association on emotions of sublimity

Granting, therefore, that sublime emotions are in part true that a considerable original, still it is unquestionably share of them is to be attributed to association. As an When frustration, we may refer to the effects of sounds.
*

Teignmouth's Life of Sir William Jones,

Am

ed

page 14.

EMOTIONS OF THE LUDICROUS.

309

sounds are thought to have more of sublimithan the report of a cannon ; but how different, how ty much greater the strength of feeling than on other occaof it coming to us from the fields sions, whenever we hear which are in themselves actual conflict Many sounds, and are not much different from many oth-

a sound suggests ideas of danger, as the report of artillewhen it calls up recolry and the howling of a storm ; cataract and lections of mighty power, as the fall of a the rumbling of an earthquake, the emotion of sublimity which we feel is greatly increased by such suggestions,

Few simple

inconsiderable, ers to which we do not attach the character of sublimity, become highly sublime by association. There is frequent a low, feeble sound preceding the coming of a storm,
ly

which has

this character.
ei

Along

the woods, along the moorish fens, Sighs the sad genius of the coming storm, " fancy's listening ear Resounding long THOMPSON'S Winter,

sometimes the case, that people, whose sensibilities alive to thunder, mistake for it some common or the rumbling sounds, such as the noise of a carriage While they are under this mistake they feel of a cart because they associate with these sounds as sublime
It is

are

much

them all those ideas of danger and of mighty power which they customarily associate with thunder. The hoot of the owl at midnight is sublime chiefly by association ; also the scream of the eagle, heard amid rocks and desThe latter is particularly expressive of fierce and erts. both are connected in our lonely independence; and remembrance with some striking poetical passages.

CHAPTER

V.

EMOTIONS OF THE LUDICROUS.


288
General nature of emotions of the ludicrous

IN prosecuting the general subject of emotions, we arc next to consider another well-known class, which are of

310

EMOTIONS OF THE LUDICROUS.


viz.,

a character somewhat peculiar,


crous.
It is difficult to gire

emotwns of

the ludi-

a precise definition of this feeling, the same may be suid of it as in respect to emoalthough tions of beauty, that it is a pleasant or delightful one. Bat the pleasure which we experience receives a peculiar
modification, and one which cannot be fully conveyed in words, in consequence of our perception of some inconor thing which is the cause of it. gruity in the person In this case, as in many other inquiries in mental philosoour own consciousphy, we are obliged to rely chiefly on of what takes place in ourselves. ness and our

knowledge

389

Occasions of emotions of the ludicrous

It may, however, assist us in the better understanding of them, if we say something of the occasions on which the emotions of the ludicrous are generally found to arise.

And, among other things,


feeling
actions,
is

it is exceedingly clear, that this never experienced, except when we notice

something, either in thoughts, or in outward objects and


say,

unexpected and uncommon. That is to emotion is felt, there is always an unBut expected discovery by us of some new relations. then it must be observed, that the feeling in question does

which whenever

is

this

not necessarily exist in consequence of the discovery of new relations merely. Something more is necessary, as may be very readily seen. Thus we are sometimes, in the physical sciences, presented with unexpected and novel combinations of the

such

of bodies. But whenever we properties and qualities discover in those sciences relations in objects, which were not only unknown, but unsuspected, we find no emotion of ludicrousness, although
surprised.

we are very pleasantly Again, similes, metaphors, and other like figures of speech imply in general some new and unexpected relations of ideas. It is this trait in them which gives them their chief force. But when employed in serious
compositions, they are of a character far from being ludicrous.

Hence we infer,
f

that emotions of ludicrousness

do not

xisl

on the discovery of

new and unexpected

relations

EMOTIONS OF THE LUDICROUS.

311

onless there is at the same time a perception, or supposed or unsuitableness. Such perception, of some incongruity perception of unsuitableness may be expected to give to the whole emotion a new and specific character, which

every one is acquainted with from his own experience 5 but which, as before intimated, it is difficult to express in words.
290

Of what

is

understood by wit
is

The
ject,

subject of emotions of the ludicrous


is

closely con-

nected with what

termed Wit. This last-named sub* which it is of some importance to undertherefore,

stand, naturally proposes itself for consideration in this In regard to WIT, as the term is generally underplace. stood at the present time, there is ground to apprehend, that an emotion of the ludicrous is always, in a greater or less degree, experienced in every instance of it. This being the case, we are led to give this definition,
viz.
:

WIT

consists in suddenly presenting to the

mind an

assemblage of related ideas of such a kind as to occasion This is done in a variety of feelings of the ludicrous. and, among others, in the two following. , ways
291.

Of

wit as

it

consists in burlesque or in debasing objects

method which wit employs in exciting the feelings of the ludicrous, is by debasing those things which are grand and imposing especially those which have an appearance of greater weight, and gravity, and
first
;

The

splendour than they are truly entitled of this sort are termed burlesque.

to.

Descriptions

to lessen what is truly and confessedly seand important, has, in general, an unpleasant effect, very different from that which is caused by true wit. And yet it is the case, that objects and actions truly great and sublime may sometimes be so coupled with other objects, or be represented in such new circumstances, as to excite very different feelings from what they would otherwise. Li the practice of burlesque, as on all other occasions of wit, there is a sudden and uncommon assemblage of Sometimes this assemblage is made by related ideas. means of a formal comparison. Take, as an instance, the following- comparison fiom Hudibras:
rious

An attempt

312

EMOTIONS OF THE LUDICROUS.


" And

now had Phoebus in the Of Thetis taken out his nap

lap
;

And,

From black

like a lobster boiled, the morn to red began to turn."

We find illustrations of
ces

where
is

objects of real dignity


direct

burlesque also in those instan* and importance are

coupled with things


there
this

mean and contemptible, although and formal comparison made. As in instance from the above-mentioned book
no
:

" For when the restless Greeks sat down So many years before Troy-town, And were renowned, as Homer writes, For well-soled boots no less than fights."

we have related ideas. In the first, undoubtedly an analogy between a lobster and the morning, in the particular of its turning from dark to But however real it may be, it strikes every one as red. a singular and unexpected resemblance. In the other Butler has done anything passage, it is not clear that more than Homer, in associating the renown of the Greeks with their boots as well as their valour. But to us of the less uncompresent day the connexion of ideas is hardly mon and singular, not to say incongruous, than in the
in these instances
is

there

former.
292 Of wit when employed
in aggrandizing objects.

The second method which wit employs in exciting emotions of the ludicrous, is by aggrandizing objects which are in themselves inconsiderable. This species of wit may be suitably termed mock-majestic or mock-heroic. While the former kind delights in low expressions, this is the reverse, and chooses learned words and sonorous In the following spirited passage of Pope, combinations. the writer compares dunces to gods, and Giub-street to
heaven
:

" As

Berecynthia, while her offspring vie

In homage to the mother of the sky, Surveys around her in the bless'd abode hundred sons, and every son a god , Not with less glory mighty Dulness crowned,

Shall take through Grub-street her triumphant ronrul And her Parnassus glancing o'er at once, " Behold a hundred sons, and each a dunce.

EMOTIONS OF THE LUDICROUS.

313

ces

In this division of wit are to be included those instanwhere grave and weighty reflections are made on

mere trifles. In this case, as in others, the ideas are in some respects related, or have something in common; but the grouping of them is so singular and unexpected,
that

we

cannot observe
"

it

without considerable emotion

galligaskins, that have long withstood The winter's fury and encroaching frosts, By time subdued, (what will not time subdue

My

horrid

chasm

disclose."

But it is not to be supposed that wit is limited to the methods of assembling together incongruous ideas which have just been referred to. A person of genuine wit excites emotions of the ludicrous in a thousand ways, and which will be so diverse from each other, that it will be found exceedingly difficult to subject them to any rules
293.

Of

the character and occasions of

humour

Closely connected with the general subject of ludicrous emotions and of wit, is that of Humour. It is well known that we often apply the terms humour and humorous to descriptions of a particular character, whether written or

given in conversation, and which


follows.

may be

explained as

It so happens that we frequently find among men what seems to us a disproportion in their passions ; for instance, when they are noisy and violent, but not durable. We find inconsistencies, contradictions, and disproportions in their action. They have their foibles, (hardly any one is without them,) such as self-conceit, caprice, foolish

and jealousies. Such incongruities in feeling and action cause an emotion of surprise, like an unexpartialities,

pected combination of ideas in wit. Observing them, as we do, in connexion with the acknowledged high traits and responsibilities of human nature, we can no more refrain from an emotion of the ludicrous, than we can on seeing a gentleman of fine clothes and high dignity maperson king a false step and tumbling into a gutter. who can seize upon these specialities in temper and conduct, and set them forth in a lively and exact manner, is called a man of humour ; and his descriptions are termed

humorous

descriptions.

314

INSTANCES OF OTHER SIMPLE EMOTIONS.


$ 294.

Of

the practical

utility

of feelings of the ludicrous.

It is not impossible that the feelings which we have examined in this chapter may have the appearance, to

some minds, of being practically useless. If this were the fact, it would be at variance with the economy of the mind in other respects ; which ^ives evidence everywhere that its original tendencies are ingrafted upon it for some But it is not so. The feeling of the lupractical ends.
is

dicrous (or, as it is sometimes called, the sense of ridicule) attended with results which, although they may not be
will be found, on a little examperfectly obvious at first, It is entirely clear, to be of no small moment ination, that it constitutes one of the important guides and aids which nature has appointed of human conduct. Scarcely
its milder any one is willing to undergo ridicule, even in and more acceptable forms $ much less to subject himself " world's dread to the laugh." And many persons would be less attentive to the decencies and proprieties of personal conduct, and of the intercourse of life, than they are in fact, were it not for the fear of this species of retribu-

It is true it is not powerful enough, nor is it the to attack the more marked deappropriate instrument incident to our nature, the strongholds of *ts pravities

tion.

sin

but

it is

unquestionably an effective and useful agent

in its application to whatever is mean, incongruous, and this subject, Campunseemly. See, in connexion with
bell's

Philosophy of Rhetoric, bk. i., ch. iii., and Beattio on Laughter and Ludicrous Compositions.

CHAPTER

VI.

INSTANCES OF OTHER SIMPLE EMOTIONS.


295. Emotions of cheerfulness, joy, and gladness

UNDER the general head of Emotions there are many Alother simple feelings which merit some attentionthough they are, perhaps, not less essential to our mature, and not less important than those which have been alreadv attended
to,

we do

not find so

many

difficulties in

INSTANCES OF OTHER SIMPLE EMOTIONS.


their examination,

315

and but a few remarks will be wantthem. Of the begin with the emotion of cheerfulness. nature of this feeling none can be supposed to be ignorant It exists, in a greater or less degree, throughout the whole course of our life. It is seen in the benignant looks, and is heard in the garrulity of old age; it sheds its consolations over the anxieties and toils of maiihood, and reigns with a sort of perpetual spring in youth, The words joy and delight express a high degree of
ing to explain

We

cheerfulness
its

the feeling

greater intensity. ymous with these last, but seems to be applied particularly when the joy is of a more sudden and less permanent
character.
296

the difference is in is the same The word gladness is nearly synon;

Emotions of melancholy, sorrow, and

grief.

which are fitted to many make us cheerful and happy, every one must know that

While

there are

things in life

wise purposes a degree of bitterness is mingled in our cup, and that circumstances occur from time to time which are of an opposite tendency. And these prove to us occasions of melancholy, which is the name of another
for
specific simple emotion. There are different degrees

of this emotion, as well as of that of cheerfulness. sometimes express the veryslightest degree of it by the words uneasiness or discontent. When the feeling of melancholy is from any circumstance greatly increased, we usually give it the name of sorrow ; so that sorrow seems to hold nearly the same relation to melancholy that joy does to cheerfulness. The word grief also has nearly the same relation to sorrow that gladness has to joy. As far as the mere feeling is concerned which they represent, the two words with grief and sorrow may be regarded as synonymous

We

each other ; with this exception, that the term grief is commonly employed when the sorrow exists suddenly and with great strength. Hence grief sometimes shows itself by external signs, and even in frantic transports ; while sorrow, even when it is deeply rooted, is more tacit, enduring, and uncommunicative.

316

INSTANCES OF OTHER SIMPLE EMOTIONS.


297 Emotions of
surprise, astonishment,

and wonder.

Whenever anything novel and unexpected


self to our notice,

presents

it-

whether

we

experience a

new

in nature or in ordinary events, simple emotion, distinct from

which has

hitherto

been mentioned, which

we

any

call

a feel-

ing of surprise.-" The word astonishment, which we frequently use, does not express a different emotion, hut the same emotion in a different degree. When the is
feeling

exceedingly strong, it seems to suspend, for a time, the whole action of the mind \ and we say of a person in such a situation, not merely that he is surprised, but is astonished or amazed.

When the facts or events which occasion the surprise are of such a singular and complicated character as to induce us to dwell upon them for a length of time, the It is not, feeling arising is then often called wonder. however, a different emotion from what we ordinarily call surprise, but the same embtion, modified by different
circumstances.

added here, that this emotion is highly immay portant to our preservation, security, and improvement. It is in new circumstances, in untried and unexplored situations, that we are particularly required to be upon our guard, since we know not what effects may attend them, nor whether these effects may prove good or evil to us. Happily for us, the emotion of surprise and astonishment
It

be

which we experience at such times is very vivid, so much so as to arrest for a time both our perceptions and our
conduct, and to compel us to pause and consider where we are and what is to be done.
298 Emotions of
dissatisfaction, displeasure,

and disgust.

another emotion which approaches very near to the feeling of melancholy, and still slightly differs from It is a it, which we express by the term dissatisfaction.
is

There

own inward

painful feeling, though only in a small degree ; but its nature, like that of other simple emotions, cannot be fully understood, except by a reference to the testimony of our

When from

experience.

faction exists in

any circumstance the emotion of dissatis1 an increasec degree, we often express

INSTANCES OF OTHER SIMPLE EMOTIONS.


this difference,

317

although the nature of the feeling remains


feeling

the same,

by another term, that of displeasure. There appear to be other forms of the simple

of dissatisfaction. The feeling of disgust is the emotion of dissatisfaction, existing in an increased degree, but under such circumstances as to distinguish it, in the view of our consciousness, from the feeling of displeasure. The latter feeling approximates more closely to an emotion of The terms hostility to the cause of it than the former. are sometimes used together, and yet not as perfectly

synonymous ; as when we say, that, on a certain occasion, we were both displeased and disgusted.
299

Emotions of

diffidence,

modesty, and shame.

There is an emotion, often indicated outwardly by a half-averted look, and shyness, and awkwardness of manner, expressed by the term diffidence. An interesting modification of this as we suppose it to be, is
feeling,

modesty ; differing from diffidence perhaps slightly in kind or nature, but probably only in degree. Although this feeling attracts but little notice in the genealogy of our mental operations, and occupies but a small space in its It combines description, it is important in its results. its influences in connexion with the natural desire of regard or esteem, in keeping men in their place, and in thus sustaining that propriety of conduct, and those gradations of honour and of duty, which are so essential to the existence and the happiness of society.

higher degree of this mental state

is

shame.

When

we

find ourselves involved in

of conduct, this feeling exists

any marked improprieties characterized outwardly ;

by a downcast eye and a flushed countenance. It is not, however, exclusively attendant upon guilt ; although guilt, among other consequences flowing from it, is in But it seems to be, rather, an part punished in this way. appropriate punishment, attendant on those minor violations of decency and order which may exist without an infringement on morals.
$

300 Emotions of regard, reverence, and


all

adoration.

Different from

the feelings which have

now been

318

INSTANCES OF OTHER SIMPLE EMOTIONS*

mentioned
its

is the emotion of regard or respect, which, in simplest form, at least, we exercise towards the great mass of our fellow-beings* The mere fact that they are creatures of God, and are possessed of intellectual and moral powers like our own, is deemed sufficient to lay the foundation of the exercise of this feeling towards them. When we observe in any individuals marked traits of mental excellence, as wisdom, truth, and justice, especially when these traits are expanded and exalted by great age, the feeling of respect which we exercise in ordinary cases is heightened into reverence. Every country can boast of a few such men, the just objects of the deepened regard of reverence ; and the eyes of successive generations have been turned with the same deep feelings towards those who are scattered along in various places in, the long tract of history. When the reverence or veneration is free from every inferior intermixture ; in other words, when the object of it is regarded as without weakness, and possessed of every possible perfection, it then becomes adoration ; a homage of the soul so pure and exalted that it properly belongs only to the Supreme Being. The wisdom of the wisest men is often perplexed with errors ; the goodness of the best of men is marred by occasional infirmities; how

deeper, therefore, and purer, and more elevated, be our sentiments of veneration, when directed towards Him whose wisdom never fails, and who is not only just and kind in his administrations, but the original and inexhaustible source of beneficence and rectitude We conclude here the examination of the Emotions.
will
!

much

We would not

pretend that this part of our sentient na-

been fully explored in the views which have been taken ; but would hope that so much has been said as to throw some satisfactory light upon it, and to leave
ture has

us at liberty to turn to another class of subjects.

THE SENSIBILITIES.

PART FIRST
NATURAL OR PATHEMATIC
SENSIBILITIES.

NATURAL OR PATHEMATIC SENTIMENTS.

CLASS SECOND
TEH? DESIRES,

CHAPTER

I.

NATURE OF DESIRES.
301

Of

the prevalence of desire in this department c

the mind.

proceed to enter upon a separate portion of the Natural or Pathematic Sensibilities, distinguished from that which has hitherto received our attention by the possession of its appropriate nature, and by sustaining its

WE

now

and appropriate relations. The characteristic element of this region of the Natural Sensibilities, that which in fact constitutes the basis of its existence, is the state of mind, distinct from all others, which we denomdistinct

This state of mind not only stands at the which we now enter upon, but diffuses abroad its influence, and runs through, and gives a character to, all the subordinate divisions into which this part of the Pathematic nature will be found
inate DESIRE.

threshold of the depaitment

to resolve itself.

No

appetite,

nor can we suppose it possible for them to exist, exclusively of any intermixture of the ingredient of DESIRE. It is for this reason that we denominate this portion of the sensitive nature Desires, as we called the other Emotions ; and as we sometimes speak of the EMOTIVE sensibilities, so we might, with no impropriety, speak of the DESIROUS or DESIRING sensibilities.
exists in fact,
302.

no propensity, or

affection

The

nature of desires

known from

consciousness.

DESIRES occupy so prominent a place in those prinwe now propose to give some ciples of the mind which account of, it is proper to delay here, in order briefly to And, in doattempt some explanation of their nature. to repeat the ing this, we are obliged, in the first place, remark already often made, that we must turn the acts of the mind inward upon itself, and consult the intimations do not suppose that any of our own consciousness. ,

As

We

definition of desire, inasmuch as it is obviously a simple state of the mind, could possibly throw any such light

322
upon
it

NATURE OF DESIRES.
of as to preclude the necessity

an internal referthe light of the mind, if we will but turn our eyes to behold it, and that alone, which can truly indicate what may be called the essentiality of its nature. At the same time, while we must obviously consult consciousence.
It is

ness for a

knowledge of

its distinctive
it

character,

we may

and some of the circumstances or inciperfect, by consideringdents of its origin, and some of the relations it sustains.
probably render our conceptions of

more

distinct

$ 303.

Of

the place of desires in relation to other mental states

idea possess a well-settled and definite of the place of Desires, considered in relation to other mental states ; especially as a thorough understanding of this point throws light upon the important subject of the the first remark to be (1.) And philosophy of the Will. made here is, that desires never follow, in direct and immediate sequence, to intellections or the cognitive acts of There is a distinct department or portion of the the mind.
It is important to

mind, located, if we may be permitted to use that expression, between the intellect and the mental states under consideration. It requires no further proof than the simple statement itself when we say that we never desire a thing, of it. simply because we perceive it or have a knowledge The mere perception of a thing is of itself no adequate reason why we should make the thing an object of pursuit There must obviously be some intermediate state of
the mind, as the proximate and causative occaexisting sion of desires, viz., an emotion. Accordingly, the prerequisite condition to desire is some antecedent feeling,

generally of a pleasurable nature, which intervenes between the desire, and the perception or knowledge of the desired object. (2.) In illustration of what has been said, it is the fact, that, whenever we desire the presence or possession of an object, it is because we are in some way pleased with it. Whenever, on the other hand, we desire its removal from our presence, it is because we are in some way displeased with it. And these expressions, indicative of pleasure or displeasure, obviously involve the existence of that distinct state of the mind which we denominate an

NATURE OF DESIRES.
EMOTION
;

323

state of feeling entirely different both, from the of the object which goes before such emotion, perception and the desire of the object which follows after it Ac

to state, in general terms, feel at cordingly, we may liberty that no man ever desired an object, or could by any posin regard to which he had experienced sibility desire it, no emotion, but had always been in a state of perfect indifferency.

obviously the fixed


$

Such, in the matter under consideration, law of the mind.

is

304.

The

desires characterized

by comparative fixedness and permanency

There is one mark or trait attending the feelings under consideration which appears to be worthy of notice. lefer to the fact, that the desires, as compared with the emotions, appear to possess a greater degree of fixedIt is well known that our emotions ness or permanency. and come ; sinking and rising on the mind's rapidly go But surface like the unfixed waves of a troubled sea. the desires, which are subsequent to them in the time of

We

their origin,

and may be regarded as produced

in,

and

as

emerging from, the troubled waters of emotion, evidently exhibit less facility and elasticity of movement. Having once entered their allotted position, although they are not it with so much pertiabsolutely immoveable, they occupy as to render it proper to regard this as one of their nacity
characteristics.

There certainly can be no great effort necessary in unhas been made ; and no derstanding the statement which in recognising and subdifficulty, as we suppose, great truth. Take, for instance, the case of a stantiating its man who is an exile in a foreign land, or of the unfortunate individual who is unjustly condemned to the occutell you, that pancy of a prison ; and they will assuredly the desires they have to see once more the light of heavof their friends, en, their native land, and the countenances sustains itself in their bosoms with a pertinacity which and that they might as well rend away defies all change the fibres of the heart itself, as to separate from it a feelillustration but deeply rooted. We give this as an ing it is more or less so in every case where the desires have decidedly fixed themselves upnn any interesting topic.
; ;

324
$

NATURE OF

DESIRES,

305. Desires always imply an object desired


is,

An

additional characteristic of Desires

that they al-

ways have an object, generally a distinct and well-defined one ] and cannot possibly exist without it. To speak of
would be an anomaly
a desire, without involving the idea of an object desired, in language. They differ in this aspect from emotions ; which, although they have their antecedent causes or occasions, do not possess, in their own nature, a prospective or anticipative bearing, but terminate in themselves. Desires, on the contrary, are onward to what is to be hereafter. Anc always pointing this is probably one reason of their greater degree of fix-

The desires lean upon the objects edness or permanency. in view, as a sort of pillar of support ; they may be said, with strict truth at the bottom of the expression, to cling around it as the vine encircles and rests itself upon the elrn ; and, of course, are not left loose and fluttering, which is substantially the case with
whioh they have
the states of mind which immediately precede them, at the mercy of every passing wind.
306

The

fulfilment of desires attended with

enjoyment

As a general

thing,

it

may

be said of the emotions that

in some inthey are either pleasant or painful, although, stances, even of those feelings it might not be easy to predicate distinctly and confidently either the one or the other. And this last statement is true particularly of the desires ; which, although they exist distinctly and welldefined in the view of the mind's consciousness, and constitute a powerful motive to action, can hardly be said, for ihe time being, to involve, in their own nature, eithei

At any rate, find it difficult, or its opposite. pleasure in ordinary cases, distinctly to detect either of these traits. be, there is still another charBut, however this

we

may

acteristic circumstance, which aids in distinguishing them from other mental states. It is this. Every desire, when the object towards which it is directed is attained, is at-

tended with a degree of pleasure. It is absolutely inseparable from the nature of desire, that the acquisition of the object of its pursuit, whether that object be good or evil, will be followed by the possession of some enjoy*

NATURE OF DESIRES.
merit.
less
i

325

Sometimes the enjoyment is very great, at others varying generally with the intensity of the desire.
307. Of variations or degrees in the strength of the desires.

There

is this

further statement to

be made

in referees

to the Desires, applicable, however, to a multitude of other states of the mind, that they exist in different degT3& As a general thing, they will be found to exist in

a greater or less degree, in accordance with the greater or less vividness and strength of the antecedent emotions. The original cause, however, of these variations, making allowance for some occasional constitutional differences,
is to

be sought for in the

intellect or

understanding.

The

more more
be

perceive or understand a thing, the distinctly distinct and vivid, reasonably expect, will as the Desires are based upon the our emotions.

we

And

we may

emotions as the antecedent occasion or ground of their


existence, they may, in like manner, be expected to exhibit, as has already been intimated, a vividness and strength, corresponding, in a very considerable degree, to

that of the feelings


noticed, that

which preceded them. It will be not speak here of the permanency of desires, which is a very different thing, but simply of their intensity or strength for the time being.

we do

308. Tendency to excite

movement an

attribute of desire.

We shall conclude this notice of the nature of desire with remarking that there is one other characteristic attribute which particularly distinguishes it, and which undoubtedly must enter as an element into every perfect Such is the nature of desire, that it is delineation of it. of itself, in virtue of its own essence, a prompting, exci^ng, or, as Mr. Hobbes would term it, a motive state of In other words, its very existence involves the the mind. probability of action; it sets the mind upon the alert; it arouses, the faculties, both mental and bodily, and places them in the attitude of movement. It is true that the desire does not, in point of fact, always result in action. Before action can be consummated, another power, still more remote in the interior structure of the mind, must be If the Will decidedly oppoconsulted, that of the Will.

EE

326
ses the desire, its

NATURE OF DESIRES.

object

tendency is, of course, frustrated in the aimed at ; but the tendency itself, although disapIt is there, and canpointed of its object, still remains. not be otherwise than there, while the desire exists.
_

This important tendency does not exist, as a general of the mind. It does not exthing, in other departments the cognitive or intellective part of the ist, for instance, in insulated mind, in itself considered. If the intellect were from the nature which is back of it, man would be a being Nor does it exist in of speculation merely, not of action. If man were formed with the emotive senthe emotions.
sensibilities

the accompaniment of those ulterior only, without which are built upon them, he would be^as unmoved and inoperative as if he were constituted with He would be like a the single attribute of perceptivity. anchored in the centre of the ocean, agitated and ship
sibilities

thrown up and down on the rising and falling billows, but wholly incapable of any movement in latitude or The tendency to excite movement, as an inlongitude.

herent or essential characteristic, exists in the desires, and nowhere else, except in the corresponding portion of ^the moral sensibilities, viz., the feelings of moral obligation. in question belongs to these two mental The

tendency

states alike.

It is the office of" the Will, as a separate and relatively a higher part of our nature, to act in reference to this tendency, either in checking or aiding, in

it annulling or consummating
$ 309.
Classification of this part of the sensibilities

If

we were

called

feel at liberty tc simplest form only, we might perhaps dismiss the subject with what has already been said. But

upon

to consider the Desires in then

cations

the circumstance that they are subject to various modifia new field of inand combinations sets us

upon

The Desires are some* quiry of great extent and interest. In times modified by being directed to particular ends. other words, they are constituted with specific tendencies, from which they seldom vary. This is the case with the not less so, in so called j and Instincts,
properly

probably

their original and unperverted action, with the Appetites. to the Affections, a distinct class of the active or In

regard

NATURE OF DESIRES.

327

sensitive principles which come under this general head, that the it seems, as far as we can judge., to be the fact, DESIRES exist in a close and inseparable combination with certain emotions, and are thus made to assume an aspect

a subordinate classification. And it is to the examination of the Desires, as they^ exist in this classification, that we now proceed , beginning with those which, in the gradations of regard we are naturally led to bestow upon them, are generally adjudged as lowest point of rank, and which are higher. In acproceeding upward to those cordance with this plan, they will present themselves to notice, and be made the subject of distinct consideration, in the order of the Instincts, the Appetites, the Propensities, and the Affections.

which they would not otherwise possess. Accordingly, we have a basis, an ample and distinctly defined one., for

310.

The
is

principles,

based upon desire, susceptible of a twofold


operation.

There
all

which now present themselves


that,

It is, for examination. with the exception just mentioned, they all have a twofold action, INSTINCTIVE and VOLUNTARY. This statefor ment, of course, will not apply to the pure instincts ; the very idea of their being instincts, in the proper sense of the term, seems to imply an absolute exclusion of their the Instincts being voluntary. But as we advance from to the Appetites, and still upward to the Propensities and Affections, we find each and all of these important prinin this twofold ciples susceptible of being contemplated Each, under circumstances of such a nature as aspect. to preclude inquiry and reflection, is susceptible of an instinctive action; and each, under other circumstances

one important remark which is applicable to the principles, with the exception of the Instincts,

more favourable

to the exercise of reasoning, is susceptiThis remark is ble of a deliberate or voluntary action. considered important in our estimate of these principles, in a moral point of view.

328

INSTINCTS.

CHAPTER
INSTINCTS.
311

II.

Of

instincts in

man

as compared with those of inferior animals.

IN proceeding to examine that part of our sensitive constitution which is comprehended under the geneiai name of Desires, we naturally begin with instincts., which are nothing more than desires, existing under a particular and definite modification.Vlt is generally conceded, that there are in our nature Some strong and invariable tendencies to do certain things, without previous forethought and deliberation, which bear that name. The actions of
are not always governed by feelings founded on reaand decisive soning, but are sometimes prompted by quick which set themselves in array before reason has impulses, time to operate. It is from this circumstance that these mental tendencies or desires are termed instinctive; a word which implies, in its original meaning, a movement

men

or action, whether mental or bodily, without reflection

and

foresight.

Although such instinctive tendencies found in men, it must be admitted that


quent, and, in animals. And, in truth,
it

are undoubtedly

are less frethey^ less effective, than in the lower general,

could not be expected to be that the brute creation are wholly destitute of the powers of abstraction and of reathem only in a small degree. soning, or, at most, possess The provident oversight of the Supreme Being, without whose notice not a sparrow falleth to the ground, has met
otherwise,

when we remember

by endowing them with instincts the most various in kind, and strikingly adapted to the exigences find the proofs of this remark in of their situation. the nests of birds, in the ball of the silkworm, in the house of the beaver, in the return and flight of birds at
this deficiency

We

their appointed seasons,

and

in a multitude of other in-

stances,
312. Illustrations of the instincts of brute animals.

It

wofold be easy,

by means of

various intjarestin

INSTINCTS.

329

to illustrate the nature of the instinctive jirincrple. The philosopher Galen once took a kid from its dead mother by dissection, and, before it had tasted any food, brought it into a certain room, having many vessels full, some of wine, some of oil, some of honey, some of milk, or some other liquor, and many others filled with different sorts oi After a little time the grain and fruit, and there laid it

embryon had acquired strength enough to get up on its it was with sentiments of ; and strong admiration that the spectators saw it advance towards the liquors, fruit, and grain, which were placed round the room, and,
feet

having smelt

all

of them, at last sup the milk alone.

About two months afterward, the tender sprouts of plants and shrubs were brought to it, and, after smelling all of them and tasting some, it began to eat of such as
are the usual food of goats. The cells constructed by the united efforts of a hive of bees have often been referred to as illustrating the nature " It is a curious of instincts. mathematical

" at what says Dr. Reid, precise angle the three planes which compose the bottom of a cell in a honey-comb ought to meet, in order to make the greatest saving or the least expense of material and labour. This is one of those problems belonging to the higher parts of mathematics,

prokem,"

which are called problems of maxima and minima. It has been resolved by some mathematicians, particularly by the ingenious Mr. Maclaurin, by a fluxionary calculation, which is to be found in the Transactions of the Royal Society of London. He has determined precisely ',he angle required ; and he found, by the most exact menin

suration the subject could admit, that it is the very angle which the thiee planes in the bottom of the cell of a

" Shall we ask here, who taught the bee the properties of solids, and to resolve problems of maxima and mini ma ? need not say that bees know none of these

honey-comb do actually meet

We

They work most geometrically, without any knowledge of geometry somewhat like a child, who, by turning the handle of an organ, makes good music without any knowledge of music. The art is not in the In like manner, child, but in him who made the org-an.
things.
;

330

INSTINCTS.

when a bee makes its comb so geometrically, the geometry is not in the bee, but in that great Geometrician who made the bee, and made all things in number, weight,
and measure* 53
313. Instances of instincts in the

human mind

not our design to enter particularly into the of the instincts of animals in this place., although subject this topic is undoubtedly one of exceeding interest both Such inquiries are to the philosopher and the Christian. too diverse and remote from our main object, which has reference to the economy of particular, if not exclusive, human nature. There are certain instinctive tendencies in man, as well as in the inferior animals ; but they are few in number ; and, compared with the other parts of Some of them his nature, are of subordinate importance.

But

it is

will

now be

referred to.

some wri (L) The action of respiration is thought, by cannot ters, to imply the existence of an instinct the imporsuppose that the infant at its birth has learned tance of this act by reasoning upon it and he is as ignorant of the internal machinery which is put in operaAnd yet he puts the tion, as he is of its important uses. whole machinery into action at the very moment of comwith such regularity and success ing into existence, and that we cannot well account for it, except on the ground

We

" a newon the Active Powers, iii., chapter ii.,) the stomach is emptied, and nature has born child, when brought milk into the mother's breast, sucks and swallows
(JEssays

of an instinctive impulse. " (H) By the same kind of principle," says Dr. Reid,

food as perfectly as if it knew the principles of that habit of working according operation, and had got the to them.
its

Sucking and swallowing are very complex operations. Anatomists describe about thirty pairs of muscles that must be employed in every draught. Of those muscles, can every one must be served by its proper nerve, and make no exertion but by some influence communicated and by the nerve. The exertion of all those muscles nerves is not simultaneous. They must succeed each

"

INSTINCTS.

331

other in a certain order, and their order is no less necessaThis regular train of operaitself. ry than the exertion tions is carried on, according to the nicest rules of art, the infant, who has neither art,, nor science, nor ex-

by

perience, nor ha"bit. " That the infant feels the uneasy sensation of ^ hunger, 1 admit; and that it sucks no longer than till this sensaBut who informed it that this uneasy tion be removed.

sensation might
it

be removed, or by what means 1

That

knows nothing of
finger,,

this is evident, for it will as readily

or a bit of stick, as the nipple." . which men make for self-preserva(ffl,) If a tion appear to be in part of an instinctive kind. man is in danger of falling from unexpectedly losing his with much propriety that the instantanebalance, we

suck a

The

efforts

say

he makes to recover his position is instinctive. If a person is unexpectedly and suddenly plunged into a which he makes for his river, the first convulsive struggle His reasoning seems to be of the same kind.
ous
effort

safety

powers

may soon come

to his aid,

and

direct his further

measures for his preservation; but his first efforts are eviWhen a violent blow dently made on another principle. is aimed at one, he instinctively shrinks back, although he knew beforehand it would be aimed in sport, and althere was no danger. though his reason told him
$

314 Further instances of

instincts in

men

properly of reason, and is excited only by intenplies the exercise Instinctive resentment, on the ottier hand, tional injury. the injury be intentional or not> and operates whether as it does in the lower animals. precisely When we experience pain which is caused by some external object, this feeling arises in the mind with a greater or less degree of power, and prompts us to retaliate on stumbles over a the cause of it. child, for instance, stone or stick of wood and hurts himself, and, -under the

is also a species of resentment which may (IV.) There be called instinctive. Deliberate resentment im-

beats the unimpulse of instinctive resentment, violently conscious cause of its suffernig. Savages, when they have been struck by an arrow in battle, have been known to tear

332
it

INSTINCTS.

from the wound, break, and bite it with their teeth, and dash it on the ground, as if the original design and imwere in the arrow itself. Similar petus of destruction views will apply, under certain circumstances, to many
other active principles.
is undoubtedly danger cf carrying the (V.) There of the instinctive tendencies of the human mind doctrine too far ; but we may consider ourselves safe in adding to those which have been mentioned, the power of interpretWhenever we see the outward signs ing natural signs. of rage, pity, grief, joy, or hatred, we are able immediIt is abundantly evident that ately to interpret them. in children, at a very early period, read and decipher, the looks and gestures of their parents, the emotions and of a good or evil kind, with which they passions, whether are agitated.

315. Of the

final

cause or use of instincts.

for the various emergencies to which we are exposed, the diminished. necessity of instinctive aids is proportionally But there are some cases which the reasoning power can

a general statement, comour regard and admimend themselves ration than some other portions of the mind, they still have their important uses. It seems, in particular, to be the design of the instinctive part of our nature to aid and those cases where reason cannot come seaprotect us in to our aid. According as the reasoning powers sonably themselves more and more acquire strength, and prepare

Although the

instincts, as

less decisively to

never reach ; and, consequently, our whole protection


instinct.

is in

It is evident, therefore, that they are a necessary part of our constitution; that they help to complete the mental system ; and although of subordinate power and value in man, compared with the inferior animals, they still

have their worth. As the reasoning power predominates in man, so instincts predominate in the lower animals; and as we do not expect to find the glory of reasoning
hi brutes, so we should not expect to discover the full excellence of instinctive powers in men ; but should rathei look for them in the insect and the worm, in the beasts oJ

APPETITES.
the field,

333

and the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the dwelling in them as a part of their nature, and blessing while they control and guide them.
air,

CHAPTER
APPETITES.
316

HI.

Of

the general nature and characteristics of the appetites

Desires, the suhject of APPETITES seems next to propose itself, for consideration. But as it is one of limited extent, and of subordinate importance in a metaphysical point of view, only a few re-

UNDER the general head of

marks will be necessary. The arrangement, the subject forward for discussion under the
sires, will

which brings head of De;

recommend itself "on a very little attention. The prominent appetites are those of HUNGER and THIRST but the appetite of hunger is nothing more than the desire
for food
; the appetite for thirst is a desire for drink. Nevertheless, they appear to be sufficiently distinguished from the other desires. They are not like the instincts,

always gratified in a certain fixed and particular manner ; nor are they like them in being wholly independent of the reasoning power. On the contrary, they may be restrained and regulated in some and when it is degree ; otherwise, their demands may be quieted in various ways. But without dwelling upon such considerations, the statement has been made with much appearance of reason, that they are characterized by these three things. (1.) They take their rise from the body, and are common to men with the brutes. (2.) They are not constant in their operation, but occasional. (3.) They are accompanied with an uneasy sensation. It may be remarked here, that the feeling of uneasiness now referred to appears always to precede the desire or
appetite,

and

to

be

essential to

it.

$317 The

appetites necessary to our preservation,

and not

originally

of a selfish character

Although our appetites do not present much of

inter-

334
est,

APPETITES,

have considered as parts of our mental economy, they in connexion with the laws and retheir important uses, "The appetites of nature. quirements of our physical " were intended tor the Stewart, hunger and thirst," says and without them reason preservation of the individual; been insufficient for this important purpose. would have that the appetite of hunger had Suppose, for example, of our constitution, reason and experience been no part of food to our might have satisfied us of the necessity hut how should we have been able, withpreservation; to the out an implanted principle, to ascertain, according of our animal economy, the proper seasons varying state is salutary to the for eating, or the quantity of food that lower animals not only receive this informabody ? The instinct tion from nature, but are, moreover, directed by sort of food that it is proper for them to the particular The senses of taste^and to use in health and in sickness. state of our species, are subservient, smell, in the savage at least in some degree, to the same purpose.

Our appetites can propriety as ultimate for they are directed to their respective objects must all have operated, in thefrst instance, ends, and they of the pleasure arising from their prior to any experience this experience, indeed, the desire Jlfter gratification. of enjoyment will naturally come to be combined with the sometimes lead us to stimulate or and it
selfish,
^

"

with no

be called

a view to the pleasure which provoke the appetite with and the is to result from indulging it. Imagination, too, association of ideas, together with the social^ affections, and sometimes, the moral faculty, lend their aid, and ^all a complex passion, in which conspire together in forming the animal appetite is only one ingredient. In proportion its influence over the conduct is as this
passion
gratified,

appetite;

may

becomes the more

irresistible, (for all

the

active^

determi-

at nations of our nature are strengthened by habit,) till man so last we struggle in vain against its tyranny. enslaved by his animal appetites exhibits humanity in one 3* of its most miserable and contemptible forms/

318

Of

the prevalence and origin of appetites for intoxicating drugs


artificial or

There are not only natural appetites, but


* Stewart's Philosonhv of Hie Moiil and Active Powers,

bk

i .

ck

APPETITES
a'cquired ones.
It is

335

And it may be proper briefly of such appetites. Such drugs and liquors as have been referred to have the power of stimulating the nervous system, and by means of this excitement thejr cause a degree of pleasure. excitement is soon followed by a correThis
cially among Savage to explain the origin
tribes.

to find persons appetite for ardent spirits, for toof various kinds. bacco, for opium, and intoxicating drugs It is a matter of common remark, that the appetite for is very prevalent, espeinebriating liquors, in particular,

no uncommon thing

who have formed an

pleasurable

sponding degree of languor and depression, lief from which resort is again had to the intoxicating not only in a restoration, draught or drug. This results but an exhilaration of spirits ; which is again followed by thus resort is had, time after depression and distress. And or whattime, to the strong drink, the tobacco, the opium, ever it is which intoxicates, until an appetite is formed so strong as to subdue, lead captive, and brutalize the So that the only way to avoid the forming subject of it. of such a habit, after the first erroneous step has been
taken, is quietly to endure the subsequent unhappiness attendant on the pleasurable excitement of intoxication, and to throw off till the system has time to recover itself,
its

to obtain re-

wretchedness by
319

its

own

efforts.

Of

the twofold operation and the morality of the appetites.

In accordance with the remarks in the

last section in

the chapter on the Nature of desires, we may add here the general statement, that the operation of all the Appeis twofold, INSTINCTIVE and VOLtites, of whatever kind,

So far as they are directed to their objects as UNTARY. ultimate ends, without taking into consideration anything to that of the else, their operation is obviously analogous instance of their gratipure instincts. But after the first not fication, they may be instigated to subsequent action, so much by a view of the ultimate object as of the pleasAnd thus it sometimes ure accessory to its acquisition. that their action, in 'view of the enjoyment before
happens, them, is turbulent and violent. Nevertheless, we may avail ourselves of the aid of other principles of the mind

336

PROPENSITIES.

to subject them to a degree of restraint, to regulate, and, in a certain sense, to cultivate them. And, so far as this can be done, they are obviously susceptible of what may be called a VOLTTNTARY action. And here is the basis of the morality of the appetites, So far as they are susceptible of a merely instinctive acmoral character, tion, they cannot be said to possess any are greatly useful in their or bad. either They

are to be regarded place ; but, in a moral point of view, It is only so far as they are volunas innocent. simply be reached and controlled by the taryj so far as they can that they can, by any possibility, be morally good will, So that virtue and vice, conor evil,, virtuous or vicious. sidered in relation to the appetites, is located, not in the themselves in their intrinsic nature, but in their
appetites exercises

good

and in those exercises only which are subor; dinate to the influence of the will.

CHAPTER

IV.

PROPENSITIES.
320. General remarks on the mature of the propensities.

As we advance

further in the examination of this por-

pathematic sensibilities, we meet with certain forms of Desire which are different from any we have hitherto attended to, and which accordingly reThere is certainly no danquire a distinct consideration. with the Instincts, inasger of their being confounded much as they do not exhibit that fixedness and inflexibletion of the natural or

ness of action which is usually characteristic of those states of mind. They differ from the Appetites also, are much less dependent for their exfirst, because they istence and exercise upon the condition of the body ; and, secondly, because, in that comparative estimation

which

ples of our nature,

At

active princinaturally attached to the different they confessedly hold a higher rank. the same time they evidently, in the graduation of our
is

PROPENSITIES.

337

is the name which we propose to atPropensities (for this tach to them) may be mentioned the principle of self of continued existence 5 curiosipreservation, or the desire of or the desire of ; sociality, or the desire

designating

below the Affections, besides being distinfrom them in some other respects. Hence we guished not only assign them a separmay, with entire propriety, ate and distinct position, but shall find a convenience in them by a distinctive name. Among the
regard, fall

ty,

society

the desire of self-love, or the desire of happiness ; the propensity to imitate, and some others. esteem,
;

knowledge

some of the cirAlthough we have briefly indicated cumstances which separate the Propensities from the other leading principles coming under this general head, it will be noticed that we have not attempted to give a It is true, they statement of what they are in themselves, are all based upon desire, and they all have some object
But whatever
is intrinsic

or specifically characteristic in

their nature will

that will necessarily

be best learned from the considerations under arise, as they pass successively

review.
321 Principle of self-preservation, or the desire of continued existence

of those original desires which we shall promaybe denominated the principle of SELFPRESERVATION, or the desire of a continuance of existence. The proof of the existence of such a desire is not only abundant in what we see around us, but is so intimate also to our own consciousness, that it can hardly be ne-

The

first

ceed to notice

cessary to enter into details.

" All that a man hath will he give for his life," was a sort of moral axiom in the earliest antiquity ; and it stands as little in need of the
verification of

It is true that proof now as it did then. the principle may, in its practical operation, be overcome by the ascendant influence of other principles, by the mere desire of esteem, by the love of country ,^or by the sentiments of duty ; but, although annulled in its reIt to be extinct in its nature. sults, it can hardly be said
still

and unextinguishable, in the lingers, unextinguished Even in cases of toundations and depths of the mind. of life which is supsuicide, the desire of the extinction

FF

338

PROPENSITIES,

pleasant are connected with


322

the self-mur posed to exist is not absolute but relative ; derer would still cling to existence if it could be possess ed separate from the evils which attend it ; it is not life in itself considered, which he hates, but the variety of uncircumstances, either actual or imagined, which
it.

Of

the twofold action of the principle of self-preservauon

The principle of self-preservation, or desire of the continuance of existence, as well as the appetites, has a twoThese fold viz., INSTINCTIVE and VOLUNTARY.
its operation are to be carefully The instinctive operation other. distinguished from each takes place when life is threatened or endangered on some sudden and unexpected emergencies. When a person is in danger of falling, he instinctively puts forth his hand to sustain himself ; when a blow is suddenly aimed at him, makes an effort to ward it off; and the he

two

operation, of aspects or methods

instinctively

form of the desire is exceedoperation of this instinctive This instinctive action effective. ingly rapid as well as is highly important in all cases where an effort for selfbased upon inquiry and reasoning, would preservation, come too late. When the exercise of the desire under
consideration exists in connexion with inquiry and reasonis ultimately based upon decisions ing, and, of course, of the will, it is said to be VOLUNTARY. It is under the sugthe principle in question that we gestions of this form of are led to make all those prospective calculations and efforts which have particular reference to the continuance and protection of life. In either point of view, whether considered as instinctive or voluntary, it is a principle evidently adapted with great

wisdom

to

man's situation and

wants.

a powerful motive to action ; and in its voluntary exercise is always morally good, so far as rt exists in entire conformity with the requisitions of an
It is practically

unperveited conscience.
323 Of
cuiiosity, or the desire of

knowledge

Another of the leading Propensive principles is CURIOSITY, or the desire of knowledge ; in respect to which it scarcely admits of a doubt^ that it is to be regarded as

PROPENSITIES.

339

one of the implanted and original characteristics of oui mental constitution. Although It must be acknowledged that this principle exists in very various degrees, from the weakest form of life and activity to almost irrepressible without curiosity would he strength, yet a person utterly deemed almost as strange and anomalous as a person without sensation. If curiosity be not natural to man,
then it follows that the human mind is naturally indifferent to the objects that are presented to it, and to the disits progress in knowledge is covery of truth : and that with satisfaction ; a state of things naturally unattended which could not be expected, and is not warranted by facts. On the contrary, we see the operation of this
of all persons is immestrange takes place, the attention directed towards it ; it is not a matter of indifferdiately ence, but all are anxious to ascertain the cause. There is at least one class of writers whose prospects in a great measure on the workread of
principle everywhere.

When

anything unexpected and

we refer to novelists and writers ings of this principle ; of romance. However commonplace may be their conand however uninteresting their style, if they the plan of their novel or romance with so much skill lay as strongly to excite the curiosity, they can command And this, undoubtedly, is the whole secret of readers.
ceptions,

being

depend

success in a multitude of cases.

324 Further

illustrations of the principle of curiosity

In further proof of the existence of this propensity > a natural or implanted one, it may be -proper to refer to the whole class of the Deaf and Dumb, and to those unfortunate individuals who are blind as well^ as deaf and dumb. These persons almost uniformly give the most indications of a desire to learn ; it seems to glow

striking in their countenance, to inspire their gestures, and to urge them on with a sort of violence in their inquiries. Cer-

of curiosity were not implanted, tainly, if the principle and did not exist in great strength, they would be entirely

overcome by the multitude of discouragements witl which they are encompassed. Take, as an illustration, the case of James Mitchell* of

340

PROPENSITIES.

whom Mr.
count

Stewart has given a minute and interesting acthis unfortunate boy was afflicted with the threefold deprivation of being deaf, sightless, and without the use of speech, he exhibited a considerable The principle of Curiosity, in degree of mental activity. He showed a strong articular, existed in great strength. 5 esire to examine, and to obtain a knowledge of all ob-

Although

find him exploring jects that came within his reach. the ground inch by inch ; we see him creeping on his hands and knees on bridges and the tops of houses ; examining not only men, but dogs, horses, carriages, furniture, and musical instruments , standing by the side of shoemakers, tailors, and bricklayers, and intently curious to know the mode and the result of their labours. But it is unnecessary to dwell upon these general considerations, or to refer to extraordinary instances, when we constantly witness in all infants and children the most ample proofs that the principle of curiosity is deeply imIt seems to be their life ; planted in the human mind.

We

keeps them constantly in motion ; from morn till night furnishes new excitements to activity and new sources The poets, many of whom are entitled to of enjoyment. the credit of an exact observance of human nature, have made this trait in infants and children the foundations of many striking passages, as in the following:
it
it

" In the pleased infant see

its

When

first

the coral

fills

his

power expand. little hand ,


,

Throned in his mother's lap, it dries each tear, her sweet legend falls upon his ear Next it assails him in his top's strange hum,

As

Breathes in his whistle, echoes in his drum Each gilded toy that doting love bestows, He longs to break, and every spring expose "
,

$ 325.

Of

the twofold operation and the morality of the principle of


curiosity.

innate principle or propensity of curiosity, like that of self-preservation, has its twofold action, INSTINCTIVE and VOLUNTARY. An action which is purely instinctive is

The

always directed towards


looks at the object
evil
it

which may
its

object as an ultimate end; it without regard to the good or be involved in it ; it chooses and pursues
its

itself,

for

own

sake.

It is in this

way

that the principle

PROPENSITIES.

341

first instance. This is its inso far as it thus operates, it is neither selfish nor benevolent; neither morally good noi

of curiosity operates stinctive operation.


;

in the

And,

but simply innocent and useful. a VOLUNTARY action, founded upon a view of consequences, and implying the exercise of reflecevil

It possesses also

tion.

We may direct it to proper


exercise
restrain

ulate

its

we may
dinate.

by
it

when it becomes irregular and inoraction, so far as it exists under such circumstances, may, with entire propriety, be denominated voluntary. And, so far as it is of this character, morality

objects ; we may stimconsiderations of interest or of duty ,

And

its

predicable of it ; it may be either virtuous or vicious. it be stimulated to action for good ends, and with a suitable regard to all other moral claims, its exercise is virtuous. If it have bad ends in view, or be put forth with such intensity as to violate other moral obligations, its exercise is vicious. It is in accordance with these views that Mr. Stewart remarks upon and disapproves the conduct of a certain ancient astronomer. It appears that, on a certain occasion, the astronomer was accused of
is

If

indifference in respect to public transactions. to the charge by the remark that his

He replied

country was in the

distinctly implying that he had deliberately merged the duties of the citizen in those of the astronomer, and that love to his country was essentially annulled by the higher love which he cherished for his chosen science. We obviously have here an instance of the inordinate exercise of the principle under consideration. It was not duly subordinated. It became so intense as to conflict, in the view of an enlightened conscience, with the proper exercise of other feelings, and with the dis-

heavens;

charge of other

duties.

326. Imitativeness, or the propensity to imitation

is

Another of the original propensities of the human mind the principle of Imitation, or the desire of doing as we

see others do.

find the evidence of the existence of such a principle everywhere around us. If this propensity be not natural, it will be difficult to account for what every one must have noticed in infancy and childhood

We

342

PROPENSITIES.

And we take tliis occasion to remark, that on this whole we shall refer particularly to the early periods of life. That is a time when human nature will he likely to show itself in its true features. And in respect to the principle now before us, it is certain that children are
subject

early found to observe with care what others do, and to attempt doing the like. They are greatly aided by this
It is propensity in learning to utter articulate sounds. not without long-continued efforts, in which they are evidently sustained by the mere pleasure of imitation, that

they acquire the use of oral language. At a little later period of life, after having learned to articulate, and having become old enough to take part in
juvenile sports, we find the same propensity at work. the animation and formidable airs of jockeys, they bestride a stick for a horse, and try equestrian experi-

With

ments; they conduct their small and frail carriages through courts and streets, and journey with their rude Ever busily engasledges from one hill-top to another. ged, they frame houses, build fortifications, erect waterworks, and lay out gardens in miniature. They shoulder a cane for a musket \ practise a measured step and fierce look ; and become soldiers, as well as gardeners and But the operation of architects, before they are men. this propensity is not limited to children ; men also do 85 their fathers have done before them ; it often requires no small degree of moral courage to deviate from the line of

Whether right or wrong, we generally feel precedents. a degree of safety, much greater than we should otherwise feel, so long as we tread in the path of others
$ 327. Practical results of the principle of imitation

It may, perhaps, be supposed by some, whatever evidence may exist in favour of regarding the principle under consideration as an original one, that it has but a slight connexion with the advancement and the happiness of mankind. But it is a remark not unfrequently to be

made

results of great

in respect to the principles of the mind, that often magnitude are found to connect them-

selves with elements in

human nature that appeared in themselves exceedingly insignificant. Such, it is possible.

PROPENSITIES,

343

often speak of imitativeness may be the case here. as a principle which governs children ; but are less will* which is hardly less the fact, that it ing to acknowledge,
is

We

from the reflection


sent at

cannot doubt, a principle which governs men. we have been able to bestow upon it,

We

that the principle before us, whatever aspect it may pre to be, and is in fact, one first sight, was designed of the important supports of society; a source of knowlIf this principle were obedge, happiness, and power. literated, the bond of union which now holds so closely of society, the old and together the two great divisions the young, would be greatly weakened ; an event, in all Not only in childpoints of view, much to be deplored. but in mature age, as we have already had occahood,
sion to intimate,

lowing in

we walk in the steps of our fathers, foland in manners the same practices, and and it is desirable, as a sustaining the same institutions And we do it, not general thing, that we should do so. because we suppose them to be clothed with the merely
arts
;

attribute of superior

prompted, often unconsciously to ourselves,


ence of this

wisdom, but also because we aie by the influpowerful principle. And it is in this way,

with generapartly at least, that generation is connected tion ; that the torch of experience, lighted in the precefolding age, is made to shed its beams over that which lows ; and that society, kept in the vicinity of the beaten track, is not subject to sudden and disastrous convulsions. would merely add, if this principle has such vast influence, as we have no doubt that it has, it is incumbent on every one carefully to consider the nature and who sets a tendency of the example which he sets. He bad example, either in domestic or in public life, is not almost necessaonly blasted and withered in himself, but leads on in his train a multitude of others to the same rily

We

results of

he who degradation and ruin. On the contrary, does good in his day and generation, infuses, whether he of his example into a designs it or not, the effulgence multitude of hearts which nature has opened for its reception

with better and higher ; and thus, them upward to happiness and glory.

results, lights

344
328.

PROPENSITIES.

Of the

natural desire of esteem

In proof of the natural and original the desire of esteem. existence of this principle in the human mind, we are at the case of all the other propensiliberty to appeal, as in in the beginnings of life, and the ties, to what we notice of the mental nature. Before children first
are capable of knowing the advantages which result from the good opinion of others, they are evidently mortified at expressions of neglect or contempt, and as evidently and approbation. As pleased with expressions of regard it is impossible satisfactorily to account for this state of of its being the result of reasoning, things on the ground the only explanation left is, that experience, or interest, chis desire is a part of the connatural and essential furniture of the mind.

Another important propensity, not resolvable into anyon its own basis, is thing eke, but original, and standing

developements

of esteem may remark further, that the desire (EL) found to exist very extensively and strongly in the more advanced periods of life. If we look at the history of nations and of individuals, how many men do we find who have been willing to sacrifice their life rather than When they have forfeit the favourable opinion of others
is
!

We

they cling as a consolation triumphantly to their unsullied reputation in *Leir present adversities, and the pledge of better things This is especially true of those periods in time to come. in the history of nations, when the original sentiments and
traits

lost all besides, their health, their fortune, with fondness to their good name

and
;

friends,

they point

of the people have not been corrupted by the introduction of the arts of luxury and refinement. is this consideration also, which has a (DDE.) There are sometimes in such a sitthis topic. bearing upon uation, that the favourable or unfavourable opinion of

We

others can have no possible bearing, so far as

we

And further judge, on our own personal interests. this, the unfavourable sentiment which we suppose to exist is not responded to in a single instance out of the
It exists there, particular circle of those who indulge it. and there alone ; without the possibility of affecting in-

can than

iuriously either our property or general reputation.

And

FKO?JENST'1 TES.
difficult for

345

yet

it is

we

feel as if the intentions of nature

as if

some

us not to be affected unpleasantly; had been violated ; real wrong had been done us ; as if we had

been deprived of that which is obviously a right. If this view of the subject is correctly stated, as we have reason
goes strongly against the doctrine that is based upon personal and interested considerations, and not upon the intrinsic nature of the mind. (IV.) It is an additional proof in favour of the natural origin of this propensity, that it operates strongly in not only wish to secure the reference to the future. good opinion of others at the present time, and in reference to present objects, but are desirous that it should be permanent, whether we shall be in a situation directly to
it is, it

to think

the desire of esteem

We

experience any good effects from it or not. Even after are dead, although we shall be utterly separated, both from the applauses and the reprobations of men, still we wish to be held in respectful and honourable remembrance. Fully convinced as we are that no human voice shall ever penetrate and disturb the silence of our tombs, the thought would be exceedingly distressing to us if we anticipated that our memories would be calumniated. may attempt to reason on the folly of such feelings, but we find it impossible to annul the principles planted within us, and to stifle the voice of nature speaking in

we

We

the breast.
329

Of

the desire of esteem as a rule of conduct

The
piness.

due and appropriate

operation of this principle, when kept within its limits, is favourable to human hapIt begins to operate at a very early period of life,

long before the moral principles have been fully brought out and established ; and it essentially promotes a decency and propriety of deportment, and stimulates to exertion. Whenever a young man is seen exhibiting an utter disreof others, the most gard of the esteem and approbation unfavourable anticipation may be formed of him; he

has annihilated one of the greatest restraints on an evil course which a kind Providence has implanted within uss and exposes himself to the hazard of unspeakable vice

346

PROPENSITIES.

and misery. It is narrated of Sylla, the Roman Dictato see Julius tor, that, on a certain occasion, happening' Csesar walking immodestly in the streets, he remarked to those around him that he foresaw in that young man

many Mariuses,
destitute

so distinctly intimating, that a person of regard for the feelings and opinions of others, would be likely to take a course dictated by his sensualiin a great degree of the adty or ambition, irrespective monitions of conscience and of considerations of the pubof the lic prediction founded in a knowledge good.

principles of

human

nature,

and abundantly

verified

by

the result.

But while we distinctly recognise in the desire of esteem an innocent and highly useful principle, we are the carefully to guard, on the other hand, against making of others the sole and ultimate rule of our conopinion duct Temporary impulses and peculiar local circumstances may operate to produce a state of public sentiment, to which a good man cannot conscientiously conIn all cases where moral principles are involved, form. In there is another part of our nature to be consulted. the dictates of an enlightened Conscience, we find a code to which not only the outward actions, but the appetites, and which inpropensities, and affections, are amenable,
fallibly prescribes

the limits of their just exercise.

To

obey the suggestions of the desire of esteem, in opposi tion to the requisitions of conscience, would be to subvert the order of the mental constitution, and to transfer the responsibility of the supreme command to a mere
'

sentinel of the outposts.


330

Of

the desire of possession.

We are
rily

so constituted, that

we

naturally

and necessa

objects, but of a multitude of relations which they sustain. And, among other

have not only a knowledge of

things, we very early form a notion of the relation of POSSESSION. There are but few suggestions of the intellect

with which the mind forms so early an acquaintance

Whenever we see children, as we constantdo, contending with each other for the occupancy of ly a chair or the control of a rattle, we may be assured that
as with this.

PROPENSiriES.

34?

the)
fine
it

have

distinctly

formed the idea of possession.

They

know

perfectly well

no actual possesreality, be sion without involving the existence of a relation, since the fact or actuality of possession implies, on the one
is possessed, and on the other a nevertheless, as the notion or idea of possespossessor; sion exists suggestively and abstractly in the mind, it is to be regarded as a single and definite object, distinctly in the mind's eye, and sustaining the same reperceptible lation to the sensibilities as any other object or relation, either mental or material, which is susceptible of being Of possession, as thus exintellectually represented. implained, existing as it were distinctly projected and

it, and may Although there can, in

although they cannot deto give a name to possibly not be able

what

it is,

hand, an object which

to

bodied in the light of the mental vision, all men appear have a natural or implanted desire. The fact of its existence, either actual or possible, is revealed in the in-

tellect

and the heart, with an instinctive impulse, cor; responds to the perception of the intellect by yielding its
love.

complacency and
331

Of

the moral character of the possessory principle

Although the desire of possession (the possessory principle, or propension, as it might be conveniently termed) has undoubtedly, like the other propensities, its instinctive action, yet its morality, that is to say, its moral character, depends wholly upon the features of its voluntary action. are not disposed to speak, as some on a slight examination might be inclined to do, of the possessory prinevil. So far ciple as being, in a moral sense, an unmixed as its action may be regulated, either in the form of re-

We

straint or

of encouragement, by reason, reflection, and the control, either direct or indirect, of the will, (all of

when we speak of its voluntary action,) capable of being either right or wrong, When acting independentreprehensible or meritorious. it assumes the form ly of all comparison and reflection, of an instinct, is often in that form beneficial, and always innocent ; when it usurps the authority due to other and higher principles, prompting- us to look with an evil eve
which
is

implied
it

just

so far

is

348

PROPENSITIES.

on the rightful possessions of another, and to grasp with an earnest and unholy seizure what does not belong to on the other hand, its acuSj, it becomes vicious ; when,
tion

the reverse of all this, prompted by upright moand adhering strictly to the line of rectitude, it is tives, to be regarded as virtuous. We apprehend it is impossible even to conceive of u
is

being so far elevated in the scale of perception and feelwhich shall be ing as to involve moral accountability, constituted on the principle of an entire exclusion of the
possessory desire.
If
it

desires
to

its

own

existence

and
to

happiness, which we suppose

be a

trait essential

every rational and accountable creature, it seems to follow, as a matter of course, that it will desire those attributes and gifts which are conducive to the preservation and perfection of such existence and happiness. What sin can there possibly be in desiring to expand the range of that existence, which in itself is such an invaluable to the good, provided it be done with a suitable regard So far relations and the claims of all other beings from being a sin, it is, and must be, a duty. If it be not so, what shall be said of those passages of the Apostle Paul, not to mention other parts of Scripture of a similar not only to import, where he directs the Corinthians " to covet " covet to but in general terms, prophesy,"
!

earnestly the best gifts;" 1 Cor.


332

xii.,

31

xiv., 39.

Of

perversions of the possessory desire.

Although the propensity in question is susceptible, by at least, of a virtuous exercise, there is toe possibility much reason to believe that its ordinary action is a perverted and vicious one. It is a great law of the mind, that the repetition of the exercise of the active principles increases their strength ; and as the occasions of the exercise of the possessory principle are very numerous, it is the almost unavoidable result that it becomes inordinateWhen this is the case, the otherwise innocent ly strong. desire of possession assumes the form of the sin of Covetousness ; a term which is universally understood to express an eagerness and intensity of acquisition that presses

upon the domain of some other

active principles,

and

is

PROPENSITIES.
at variance

349

with some of the claims of duty. This is unone of the gpreat sins whict attach to human doubtedly of nature too prevalent, it is to he feared, in the heart and which receives in all parts of the individual every solemn rebuke. Scriptures a decided and When the possessory principle becomes, by further repof its action, it assumes etition, increased in the intensity the still more aggravated and guilty form of Avarice. In this form it not only loses that character of innocence which it originally possessed, but becomes exceedingly loathsome and abhorrent in the unperverted eye of moral
\ ;

purity.
$

333

Of

the desire of

power

Another of the original propensities is the desire oi Power. In regard to POWEK, it is hardly necessary to say, that it is not an object directly addressed to, or cognizaand is ble by, the senses ; but it is an attribute of mind, made known to us by an act of the Internal intellect
that
is to

the intellect operating independently of say, of do not see powa direct connexion with the senses.

We

er as

we

see

and extended object ; nor do we touch

it,

nor is it an object of the taste or smell ; but it is revealed on the oc10 the mind by an act of Original Suggestion, casions appropriate to that species of mental action. But, the senses, it is as much although it is not cognizable by if a reality, as much an object of emotion and desire, as It stands out as distinctly perceptible case. that were the does to the mind's eye, as an extended and coloured body This being the case, we may, with ento the bodily eye. desire of power ; tire propriety of language, speak of the there is an object, that object may, in posfor wherever is no object at least, be desired ; but where there
sibility

before the mind,

it is

not possible for desire to

exist.

to say, viz., that the desire of

man mind

power is natural to the huin other words, that the desire of power is this an original principle of the mind. In support of at first sight to commend view, which may perhaps fail the first remark we itself to the reception of the reader, a have to make is, that power in its own nature is thing
;

These remarks are preparatory to what

we have now

GG

350
desirable.
It

PROPENSITIES.

cannot be doubted that power is in fact, as, an essential attribute of all mental being. Accordingly, if an intellectual and sentient existence is desirable, then power is desirable also, as being necessarily involved in such existence. The desire

and

is

to

be regarded

of existence, by common acknowledgment, is natural to us ; the desire of happiness is natural also ; and since there can be neither the one nor the other without power, it seems reasonable to think that the desire of power is essential to, and is implanted in, our nature. There are various circumstances, obvious to every one's notice, which go to confirm this view of the subject. " while still " The on the infant,*' says Mr. Stewart, in exerting its little strength on every obbreast, delights ject it meets with, and is mortified when any accident convinces it of its own imbecility. The pastimes of the boy are, almost without exception, such as suggest to him When he throws a stone or shoots the idea of power. an arrow, he is pleased with being able to produce an effect at a distance from himself; and while he measures with his eye the amplitude or range of his missile weapon, contemplates with satisfaction the extent to which his power has reached. It is on a similar principle that he loves to bring his strength into comparison with that of his fellows, and to enjoy the consciousness of superior

prowess."
334 If
it

Of

the moral character of the desire of

power

be true that the desire of power is connatural to the human mind, it will probably be found, like other
IVE

analogous principles, to possess a twofold action, INSTINCTand VOLUNTARY. So far as its action is instinctive, we may suppose it to be innocent at least, and probably

So far as it is voluntary, the virtue or vice which useful. attaches to it will depend upon its regulation. If it be kept in subordination to the dictates of an enlightened
conscience,

and

to the
its

Supreme Being,
do,

and duties feelings exercise is virtuous.

we owe

to the

If,

on the con-

trary, it acquires inordinate strength, as it is very likely to and is excessive in its operation, pushing us forward
to the pursuit

other's rights,

it

of forbidden objects and the invasion of then becomes vicious

PROPENSITIES.

351

desire of power becomes excessive, and exand operates as a leading and predominant principle, we commonly denominate it Ambition. He who is under the influence of AMBITION, desires power ; not because it assimilates him to his Maker, not because it affords him the increased means of usefulness, nor for any other reason which commends itself to a strictly virtuous mind ;
ists

When the

but simply because

it

administers to the gratification of


selfishness.

an unrestrained and insatiable

335. Propensity of self-love, or the desire of happiness

We proceed to explore this part of


still

our sensitive nature

that the desire of enjoyment or to be an original or connatural element happiness appears of the mental constitution. No one will presume to asfurther,

by adding,

sert that the desire of suffering is natural

that

we

ordi-

narily rejoice in the prospect of them with gladness of heart.

coming woes, and endure

Nor are there satisfactory for the opinion that enjoyment and suffering are indifferent to the human mind, and that there is no choice
grounds

Such a supposition would be to be had between them. contrary to the common experience and the most obvious facts. On the contrary, our own consciousness and what we witness in others effectually teach us, that the desire of happiness is as natural as that of knowledge or
esteem, and even hardly less so, than it is to desire food and drink when we experience the uneasy sensations of

hunger and
pensity,

thirst.

and guidance of this strong pronot only flee from present evil and cling to present happiness, but, foreseeing the events of the ruture, they prepare raiment and houses, fill their granaries, in anticipation of a day of want, and take other measures for the prolonging of life, health, and comfort* It is kindly provided that they are not left, in taking preUnder the
instigation

men

cautions subservient to their preservation and well-being, to the suggestions and the law of reason alone, but are and kept in action by this decisive and perma-

guided

And it is proper to add, that this desire nent principle. not only in reference to outward and bodily com.operates r orts, but also in relation to inward consolations, the in-

S52
spirations

PROPENSITIES.

and solaces of religion in the present life, and the anticipated possession of that more glorious happiness which religious faith attaches to a future state of existence.

should ever be remembered, that the desire of have been aappiness, like the other desires which mentioned, ought to be subjected to a suitable regulation. An enlightened conscience will explain under what con-

But

it

our

own

our personal welfare may be pursued, and in what whether it relate to the present or the future, it cases, should be subordinated to considerations of public beneditions
fit

and of universal benevolence.


336.

Of

selfishness as distinguished from self-love.

We cannot but suppose, for the reasons that have just been suggested, that the desire of happiness or propensiis an attribute of man's nature. ty of peisonal good This opinion is not only accordant with the suggestions of the light of nature, but is sanctioned by other and
The pursuit of our own happiness is higher authority. obviously recognised in the Scriptures, and is urged upon While we are required to love our neighus as a duty.
bour, it is nowhere said that we must perform this duty to the exclusion of a suitable regard for our own felicity. The desire of happiness thus implanted in our own
constitution,

we

is frequently misunderstood, and that the term itself is liable to erroneous applications. This is owing to the fact that the principle is not al ways, and perhaps we should say, is not generally regu lated and restrained as it ought to be ; but frequently degenerates into a perversion which ought to be carefully It is not selfdistinguished from its innocent exercise. love, but the perversion of self-love, which is properly called SELFISHNESS 5 and while self-love is always innocent, and, under proper regulations, is morally commendable, as being the attribute of a rational nature, and as being approved by God himself, SELFISHNESS, on the contraiy,"is always sinful, as existing in violation of what is due to others, and at variance with the will of God. It

term, SELF-LOVE. port of the term

denominate by a simple and expressive But it cannot be denied that the im-

PROPENSITIES.
is

353

due to the cause of morals and religion, as well as ot sound philosophy, to make this important distinction.
is
is

the principle which a holy God has given ; the loathsome superstructure which man, in the moments of his rebellion and sin, has erected
Self-love
selfishness

upon

it,

$ 337. Reference to the opinions of philosophical writers

it would be easy to introduce passages in support of the greater part of the views of this chapter, if it were deemed necessary, from writers whose opinions are received with deference, and are justly entitled to be so. It appears from the recent work of Dr. Chalmers on the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of Man, that he regards the desire of possession (the possessory principle, as it may conveniently be designated) as connatural to the

human mind.

8 13.) Mr. Stewart (Vol. i., ch. vi., takes the same view in regard to the principle of self-love, or the desire of happiness. (Active and Moral Powers, bk. iL, chap, i.) On this important subject, which in

tions

some of its aspects is closely connected with the requisiand appeals of revealed religion, w>,find the following explicit statement in Dr. Wardlaw's recently published treatise, entitled Christian Ethics. " SELF-LOVE is an essential principle in the constitution

of every intelligent creature; meaning by self-love the desire of its own preservation and well-being. By no effort of imagination can we fancy to ourselves such a creaIt is an ture constituted without this. original law in the In man, it is true, in nature of every sentient existence. regard especially to the sources from which it has sought its gratification, it is a principle which, since his fall, has

been miserably perverted and debased, degenerating, in ten thousand instances, into utter selfishness, and in all

Between selfishness, partaking of this unworthy taint. however, and legitimate self-love, there is an obvious and wide discrepancy. The latter is not at all distinctive of our nature as degenerate, but was interwoven in its very The formei texture as it came from the Creator's hand. It leads the creais proper y the corruption of the latter.
ture a

who

is

under

its

dominant influence,

to prefer self to

354
fellow-creatures

PROPENSITIES.

and to God, so as to seek its own real or supposed advantage at the expense of the interests and the honour of both. So far, on the contrary, is self-love
from

bebg unwarrantable,

that, in that part of

God's law

which

prescribes our feeling and conduct towards our fellow-creatures, it is assumed as the standard measure of the commanded duty, ' Thou shalt love neighbour as

thy

THYSELF,'

the

Take away self-love, or suppose it possible that human heart should be divested of it, and you anni-

hilate the

" There

command by
is not,

rendering

it

unintelligible.

by which

we

assuredly, any part of the divine word; are required, in any circumstances, to divest

ourselves of this essential principle in our constitution. That word, on the contrary a is fall of appeals to it, under

Such are every diversity of form. all its promises, all its invitations."
$

all its

threatenings,

338 The principle of

sociality original in the

human mind.

Men naturally (not moved to it planted propensities. the influences of education or considerations primarily by of interest, but of themselves and naturally} have a desire of the company or society of their fellow-men ; a SOtendency of the mind, expressed by the single term are aware that'the desire of CIALITY or SOCIABILITY.

of society, Sociality, or the desire

is

another of the im-

We

society, as well as

some of the

other original propensions,

has sometimes been regarded as a mere modification of It is the fact, however, that, in its first operaSelf-love. the desire of society acts instinctively, being directed don, to its object as an ultimate end, wholly irrespective of any pleasure which may subsequently be found attached to its attainment. It is one of the characteristics of Desire, as we have already seen, that the attainment of its And this object is attended with more or less pleasure. is as true of the successful issue of the principle of Sociality as of any other principle, involving as a part of its nature the Accordingly, after the desiring element. experience of pleasure attendant upon its successful exercise, even in a single instance, it is possible that its subsequent action may be prompted rather by a regard to the concomitant enjoyment than to the object which orisji-

PROPENSITIES.

355

Such an exercise of the principle nally called it forth. under consideration may, with somt appearance of proone ; but this is lather a secpriety, be termed a selfish ondary than an original exercise ; and does not so much
indicate what the principle is by nature, as what it may become by subordinate or by perverting influences. In itself considered, it is innocent and highly useful ; it may,
indeed, after its first exercise, be indulged from a regard to personal or self-interested considerations; that is to say, from a regard to our own happiness or pleasure ; but

even the exercise of the principle from such considerations is not to be regarded, as some may suppose, as morally wrong, provided it is so regulated as not to conflict with the proper operation of other principles and with the
claims of duty
339. Evidence of the existence of this principle of sociality.

tion is

existence of the propensity under considerain the first place, by what we notice in the No one is ignorant that infants and early periods of life. very young children exhibit a strong attachment to their parents and others who tend upon them, and a desire for
(I.)

The

shown,

their
left

company and uneasiness

at their absence.

When

alone, even for a very short time, they discover a

great degree of unhappiness, which may sometimes be ascribed to fear, but more often to the mere sense of loneliness, and the desire for society. When other infants and children are into their

company
sity is at
tures,,

whom

brought they have never seen before, this piopen-

once shown in their smiles, their animated gesAnd when they are old and sparkling eyes. enough to go out and play in the streets, we find them
almost always in groups.
in fields

and

ing, are

forests, their excursions in fishing all in companies ; and the

Their sports, their wanderings and huntprivilege of

made

amusing themselves in these ways, on the condition of not being allowed the attendance of others, would be

deemed

scarcely better than a punishment.

(II.) In the second place, this propensity, which shows itself with so much strength in children, continues to exist,

and

to give interesting

and decisive proofs of

its

ex-

356

mOPENSITIES.

It is true, that those wno Istence, in manhood and age. are further advanced in years, from the circumstance oi

their finding greater resources in themselves, are in general more capable of supporting retirement and solitude

But it is very evident, in the maturity as than children well as in the earlier periods of life, that man's proper element (that in which alone he can secure the developement of his powers and he happy) is society, in some shape and in some degree. Hence the frequency of famof commemily meetings, of social and convivial parties, orative celebrations, of religious, literary, and political assemblies, which constantly occur in all communities thioughout the world, and which seem to be almost as
necessary as the air they breathe or their daily food.
340
Other illustrations of the existence of
is this principle,
this principle

man

that men, if deprived of huendeavour to satisfy its demands by a forming a species of intimacy with the lower animals ; circumstance which seems to us decisively to evince not only the innate existence, but the great strength of the

So strong

society, will

Baron Trenck, for instance, in order to social tendency. alleviate the wretchedness of his long and dreadful immade the attempt, and was successful in it, to
prisonment,

tame a mouse. The mouse, according to his account of him, would not only play around him and eat from his hand, but discovered extraordinary marks of sagacity as
well as of attachment.

Mr. Stewart, in illustrating this very subject, makes the " The Count de Lauzun was confifollowing statement. ned by Louis XIV. for nine years in the Castle of Pignerol, in a small room where no light could enter but from a chink in the roof. In this solitude he attached himself
to a spider, and contrived for self in attempting to tame it,

some time to amuse him" with catching flies for its support, and with superintending the progress of its web. The jailer discovered his amusement and killed the spider y and the count used afterward to declare, that the pang he felt on the occasion could be compared only to that of a mother for the loss of *. child." More recently we find statements of a similar purport

PROPENSITIES.
in the

357

little work of Silvio Pellico, which gives interesting an account of his Ten Years' Imprisonment. " Being al5 " I one most deprived of human society/ he remarks, day made acquaintance with some ants upon my window ; 1 fed them ; they went away, and, ere long, the place was

a noble edifice upon my walls, and I often gave him a feast of gnats and flies, which were extremely annoying to me, and which he liked much better than I did. I got quite accustomed to the sight of him ; he would .run over my bed, and come and take the precious morsels out of my hand." On a certain occasion, after having been visited by some one who took a more than usual interest in his situ" How he how irresistible is the
exclaims, ation, strange, desire of the solitary prisoner to behold some one of his own species ! It amounts to almost a sort of instinct, as

A spider, too, had weaved

thronged with these

little insects,

as if

come by invitation.

usual consequence, the tenChristian religion, so in views of humanity, forgets not to enumerate among its works of mercy the visiting of the prisoner. The mere aspect of man, his look of commiseration, his willingness, as it were, to share with you, and bear a part of your heavy burden, even when you know he cannot relieve you, has something that sweetens your bitter cup/'
if to
its

prevent insanity, and

dency to abounding

self-destruction.

The

341
It is

Relation of the social principle to

civil society

on such considerations that we maintain the prinwhich has now been the subject of examination, to ciple be connatural to the human mind. If men are frequently found in a state of contention, jealous of each other's advancement, and seeking each other's injury, we are not
to

regard

result, in

many

this as their natural position, but rather as the cases at least, of misapprehension. If they

understood, in every case, the relative position of those with whom they contend, and especially, if they were free from all unfavourable influences from those who happen

be placed in positions of authority, the great mass of mankind would find the principle of sociality successfully
to

asserting its claims against those causes of compulsion and strife which, for various reasons, too often exist

358

THE MALLVOLENT AFFECT. IONS.

In concluding this subject,

moment to the strange notion of Mr. Hobbes, and those who think with him, that man is kept in society only
the fear of what he significantly calls the Leviathan ; that is to say, of Civil Society in the exercise of force. These writers give us to understand, that it is the chain, the sword, and the fagot, which sustains the uniformity of the social position. have no doubt that Civil Gov-

we may

properly revert a

by

We

ernment, in its proper administration, has a favourable effect, even in the exercise of force. But, at the same time, it is a great and important fact, that Civil Society has a different, and, in all respects, a better foundation than this. It is based on the constitution of the mind itself; on the unfailing operations of the social principle It is true that the tendencies of this principle are sometimes temporarily annulled by counteracting and adverse influences ; but the principle itself is never, in a sound

There is philosophical mind, perfectly extinguished. truth, as well as poetical beauty, in the well-known expressions of

Cowper
His

"Man

in society is like a Blown in his native bed

flower
,

'tis

there alone

faculties,
;

Shine out

in full bloom, there only reach their proper use "

expanded

CHAPTER

V.

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.


342

Of the comparative rank of

the affections

IT will be recollected, after some general remarks on the Nature of desire, we proposed to prosecute the examination of what may be called, in distinction from the emotive, the desiroiis portion of the Pathematic sensibilities, under the subordinate heads of the Instincts, the Appetites,

the Propensities, and the Affections. Having examined, so far as seemed to be necessary for our purpose, the three first divisions, we are now prepared to proceed to the last.

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS

359

The Affections are distinguished from the other forms of the desirous or propensive nature, besides other subordinate marks or characteristics which will naturally present themselves to our notice as they come separately under examination, in being, in the first place, more complex, and also by the circumstance of their sustaining a higher place in the graduation of our esteem and honIt may be difficult to explain how it happens, but our. it is unquestionably the fact, that there is a difference in the sentiments of esteem with which we contemplate different parts of our nature; some being regarded with In the graduation oi higher, and some with less honour. our regard, it appears to be the fact, that we generallj estimate the appetites as, in some degree, higher than the, To instincts, and the propensities as higher than either. the Affections, especially the Benevolent affections, which occupy, in our estimation, a still more elevated position, we look with increased feelings of interest. They obviously stand at the head of the list ; and when we shall
have completed their examination, nothing more will remain to be said on the regular or ordinary action of the Natural Sensibilities. We shall then be at liberty to proceed to another and still more important class of subjects
343

Of the complex nature of

the <aifections

Affections, unlike the Appetites and Propensities as they exist in their primitive or original developement, are not simple states of mind, but complex. Accordingly, the term AFFECTION denotes a state of mind, of which it is indeed true that some simple emotion is always a part,

The

but which differs from any single simple emotion in being combined with some form of that state of the mind called "As to every sort of passion," says Kaimes, DESIRE. "we find no more in the composition but an emotion, pleasant or painful, accompanied with desire." The affections are susceptible of being divided, although it may not be, in all respects, easy to carry the arrangement into effect in its detail, into the two classes of BeThe malevolent affections, as nevolent and Malevolent. a include a painful emotion, accompanied general thing, The bewith a desire of evil to the unpleasant object

360

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

nevalent affections, on the contrary, include, for the most part, a pleasant emotion, accompanied with the desire of good to the pleasing object. But what distinguishes and characterizes the two classes, is probably not so much the nature of the emotion as the desire of good or evil which It is on the basis of this division that we proattends it. pose to proceed in the examination of this subject. It is proper to remark here, that the term PASSIONS, iij of language, is susconformity with the authorized

usage

ceptible of being employed as entirely synonymous with In this sense we shall sometimes have occaAFFECTIONS.

sion to use

it

although

it is

frequently the case that

it is

also as expressive, not merely of the existence of the affections, but as implying their existence in a raised

employed
->r

eminent degree.
344.

Of resentment

or anger

of the MALEVOLENT affections which we propose to consider (that which may be termed the foundation or basis of all the others) is Resentment or Anger. This affection, like all others, is of a complex nature, in-

The

first

volving an unpleasant or painful emotion, accompanied with the desire of inflicting unpleasantness or pain on the In its original or object towards which it is directed.
natural state, the desire appears to be, to some extent, the counterpart of the emotion; that is to say, having experienced an unpleasant or painful emotion, in consequence of the actual or supposed; ill conduct of others, we naturally desire, in the exercise of the Resentment arising under such circumstances, a corresponding retribution of pain on the offending agent But in saying that they are reciprocally counterparts, we do not feel at liberty to assert, although there seem to be grounds for such a suggestion, that they possess to each other a precise and exact

correspondence. There are various modifications of Resentment, so disdnct from each other as easily to admit of a separate norice and to be entitled to a distinct name, such as Peevish-

These will be considered, ness, Jealousy, and Revenge. although in as brief a manner as possible, in their proper
place.
It is

necessary to remark a

little

more

at

length

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS

361

upon the passion


as in

now before us, which may be regarded some important sense the foundation and the place
all

of origin to

the others.

345. Illustrations of instinctive resentment

AFFECTIONS, agreeing in this respect with what has been said of the Appetites and Propensities, have a twofold action, instinctive and voluntary ; operating, in the one case, suddenly and without thought ; in the other, operating on reflection and with deliberate purpose of mind. Accordingly, we proceed to remark, in the first The occaplace, on the instinctive form of resentment. sions on which this form of resentment arises or is liable to arise, are all cases of harm or suffering, whether such harm or suffering be caused intentionally or not. The barm which we experience is followed by the resentment at once ; the rapidity of the retributive movement may be compared to that of a flash of lightning ; quick as the operation of thought is universally allowed to be, there is

The

opportunity for its interposition between the harm which has been experienced and the resentment that foltio

Under such circumstances it is, of course, imposresentment should be regulated by the -consideration whether the hurt which we have experienced was intentional or not. It is the harm, in itself considered, which arouses us, exclusive of any reference to the cirumstances under which it is inflicted.
lows.
sible that the

We not unfrequently see instances of


ment corresponding
to

instinctive resentsaid.
It is

what has been

under

the influence of this form of resentment that the child

who

has been accidentally hurt by a stone or a billet of wood, wreaks a momentary anger upon the inanimate object ; that the Savage breaks and fiercely tramples on the arrow which has wounded him ; and that men, in the first moments of their suffering, almost universally discover a sudden and marked displeasure with the cause of it
346

Uses and moral charactei of

instinctive resentment
it is

The
for

object (or FINAL CAUSE, as

sometimes termed)

which the principle of instinctive resentment is implanted in man, seems to be to furnish him with a degree

362

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

of protectiou in the case of sudden and unforeseen attacks. The reasoning power is comparatively slow in its operation ; and if the constitution of our nature were such as to require us always to wait for ifs results before acting,

we

might, in some cases,

fail

Distinctive effort

would have

of that protection which an Hence the practical given.

importance of this form of the principle under consideration. It may be added, that instinctive resentment has no moral character. It is the glory of the moral nature, that it lays back, if we may be allowed the expressions, of the

intellective nature;

and that it does not, and cannot, act independently of the antecedent action, to a greater or less extent, of the intellect. In other words, the nature of conscience is such as to require as the basis of its
action a knowledge of the thing and its relations, upon which it is about to pronounce its opinion ; which knowledge can be acquired only by the perceptive and compa-

ring acts of the intellect.


instinctive action, that it
this

But^such
entirely

is the rapidity of excludes a suitable

knowledge of the event which

calls it forth ;

and as

it

in

excludes the cognizance and authority of conscience, it cannot be said to have a moral character, either

way

good or
347.

evil.

Of

voluntary in distinction from instinctive resentment.

second, and, in a practical and moral point of view, the more important form of this affection is what may be denominated Voluntary Resentment. By inquiring into the cause of the resentment which we have instinctively experienced, and by suggesting reasons either for its increase or diminution, we are enabled to modify its action, and to impart to it the character of voluntari
accountability. occasion of deliberate or Voluntary, in distinction from instinctive Resentment, is INJURY, as it stands

The

ness

and

The proper

or hurt. That is to say, exercised in accordance with the intentions of nature, takes into view, not only the harm or suffering which has been occasioned, bat the motive 01 intention of the agent. The final cause or object of in-

distinguished from

mere harm

Voluntary resentment,

when

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS


;

363

stinctrve resentment is immediate protection nor does it appear to have anything further in view. The final cause of voluntary resentment is not only protection, but justice In other words, while it aims to secure protection, it does not propose the attainment of that object, except in conIt alformity with what is strictly proper and
right.

appropriate and legitimate exercise, dispenses its retribution, not simply with a reference to the harm, loss, or suffering which has been endured, but chiefly with reference to the feelings which at the time existed in the mind of the agent or cause of the

ways, therefore, in

its

moral character, accordingly, attaches only to the voluntary form of resentment. If there is an exact proportion between the resentment and its cause ; in other
resentment precisely corresponds to what justice But if it exceeds this just proportion, it is wrong. This statement is made on the supposition that we are considering the subject by the mere aid of the light of nature, exclusively of the Scriptures. If, under the Christian dispensation, we are for
words,
if

suffering.

requires, it is right.

required,

justly exercised, that circumstance evidently places the subject in a different light.

and holy reasons peculiar to that dispensation, to subdue resentful feelings which otherwise might have been

high

348 Tendency of anger

to excess,

and the natural checks to

it*

operative in man, in point of And although, reasoning fact, than that of resentment. on the principles of nature merely, without talking into view the duty of forgiveness inculcated in the Scriptures, we may justify its deliberate and voluntary exercise in

Few principles are more

many

particularly is too frequently the fact, that

cases, it must be admitted, on the whole, that it is liable to a perverted and excessive action. It

man is

found wreaking his

anger on those who, on a


all

and candid examination of the circumstances of the case, would be found entitled
full

to

no such treatment.

of the frequency of excessive and unjustifiable resentment is to be found in the fact, that, in consequence of the suffering or loss we endure, our thoughts are wholly taken up with our own situation, and we find

One cause

364
it

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS

either the facts or very difficult to estimate properly If we the motives of our supposed adversary's conduct. could turn away our thoughts from ourselves, so far as all the circumstances of a proceeding fully to understand in itself considered, we have found so injurious tc

which,
us,

mence of our anger,

should frequently be willing to check the veheif we did not wholly extinguish it. on Nature, however, has herself instituted some checks

we

The exercise FIRST. the undue exercise of this passion. It is in this of this passion is, in its very nature, painful. from the exercise of the benevolent respect very different So great is the pain ataffections, which is pleasant tendant upon deliberate and protracted anger, that it is not uncommon to hear persons assert that they have themselves endured more suffering in their minds^ the gratification of their passions has caused to their opNature seems to have attached this penalty to ponents. the exercise of this passion, in order to remind men, at the most appropriate moment, of the necessity of keeping
it

own

than

in

due subjection.

Whenever our resentment passes the proper SECOND. were bebounds, the feelings of the community, which are fore in our favour, immediately turn against us. so constituted that we naturally desire the good opinion of others ; and, consequently, the loss of their good opinion operates upon us as a punishment, and not unfrequentone. Under the influence of the experience ty a severe or the anticipation of this incidental retribution, it is not restrict within proper ^infrequently the case, that men under other circumoounds those feelings, which,

We

angry

stances, they

would probably have indulged


in his

to excess.
is

THIRD.

The tendency of the indulgence of anger

to

lower a

estimation, and still more so in the estimation of others, who will be less ready to admit those mitigating circumstances that paitially justify his

man

own

The mere outward signs of the anfeelings to himself. gry passions give a shock to our sensibilities, and are hateful to us ; while those of an opposite character beam upon the soul with the pleasantness of a tranquil mornThe smile of benevolence wins upon our ing's light affections; but the scowl of anger, whether it be directed

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

365

or others, fills us with peon and dread. against ourselves And, moreover, while the indulgence of anger tends, as a

the subject of it in our view, general thing, to degrade we look with increased respect and honour on those who
successfully resist its approaches,

and are

cairn

and

for-

bearing amid insult and injury.


$ 349. Other reasons for checking and subduing the angry passions

In addition to those checks to the angry passions which nature herself seems to have furnished, it may he proper to mention a few considerations, drawn from reason and the which, if they have the weight they are

We

Scriptures, entitled to, will tend to the same desirahle result. (1.) should always keep in recollection,, in the first placea

that

when

the

mind

is

much

agitated by passion,

it is

ren-

dered by that circumstance itself incapable, to a considerable degree, of correct judgment. Actions, considered as the indications of feeling and character, do not at such tunes appear to us in their true light. They are seen and represented unthrough an unfavourable medium, It is mturally, with distorted and discoloured features. said to have been a saying of Socrates to his servant on a certain occasion, that he would beat him if he were not to indicate that, in the angry; a remark which seems of the author of it, anger is a state of mind unfaopinion vourable to a correct judgment of the merit or demerit of
place, even if to distrust our powers of particular reason that we may, by possibility at least^ have mistajudging, whom we imagine to have ken the motives of the

the person towards


(2.)

whom

it is

directed.

We should consider, in the second


person

we have no

injured us.

which we Perhaps the oversight or crime him, instead of being premeditated or in* allege against It is even possible that tentional, was mere inadvertence.

his intentions

were favourable to us, instead of being, as of a contrary character. And if it were oth suppose, erwise ; if the wrong done us were an intentional wrong,

we
it

hostile disposition may have possible that this fiom serious misconceptions ^in regard to pur originated own character and conduct. And obviously the easiest
is
still

and best way would be

to correct these misconceptions,

366
and thus
ability,

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.


to secure safety for the future, and, in all prob-

of this passion and to allay its prevent the indulgence It is, that all have offended against the Supreme effects. If we of pardon from Him. Being, and stand in need were without sin ; if we could boast of perfect ourselves
there might seem to be some degree purity of character, of reasonableness in our exacting from others the full amount of what is due to perfect and inflexible rectitude. But the actual state of things is far different from this. one who knows his own heart must see and feel

recompense for the past. There is another consideration which ought to (3.)

Every

himself to be a transgressor. How unsuitably, therefore, to the circumstances of his own situation, does that man conduct who talks largely of satisfaction and revenge, when he is every moment dependent on the clemency whom he has himself so often of a and
^

forgiveness

Being

sinned against. In the fourth place, there are


ture

many

passages of Scrip-

The doctiine, that we are to of the Gospel revelation. do good to our enemies, obviously distinguishes love and the Christian Code from every other ; and gives to it, as an inexpressible elecompared with mere human systems, " Ye have Its language is, heard, it hath been vation. thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. said, But I say unto you, love your enemies bless them that curse you ; do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you."
,*

which expressly require us to subdue the malevolent to forgive the injuries which have called passions, and them into action. And this, we may here take occasion to remark, is one of the great and striking characteristics

350. Modifications of resentment

Peevishness.

When, in all ordinary cases, the resentful feeling shows it by the terms resentment, itself, we variously denominate and the like ; but hostility, anger, hatred, indignation, there are some modifications of the feeling, distinguished either by excess or diminution, or in some other way, as possessing a distinctive charbe which

may

regarded
these
is

acter.

One of

PEEVISHNESS or FRETFULNESS

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

367

which, probably with more species of malevolent passion than its decided manifestations, interrupts the
frequency

peace and happiness of Peevishness differs from ordinary anger in being excited by very trifling circumstances, and in a strange facilits effects on everybody and everything ity of inflicting within its reach. The peevish man has met with jsome matters but little what it is,) (it
life.

and the serenity of whole days is disturbed; no smiles are to be seen ; everything, whether animate or inaniof place, and falls under mate, rational or irrational, is out the rebuke of this fretful being. Anger, in its most markbe compared to a ed and decided manifestations,

trifling

disappointment,

may

but leaves thunder-shower, that comes dark and heavily, a clear sky afterward. But peevishness is like an obless violent, scure, drizzling fog; it is

and

lasts longer.

In general, it is more unreasonable and unjust than violent anger, and would certainly be more disagreeable, were it not often, in consequence of being so disproportioned to its cause, so exceedingly ludicrous.
351. Modifications of resentment.

Envy.

superiority

frequent forms of resentment is^Envy that ill-will By this term we are accustomed to express or hatred which has its rise from the contemplation of the of another. Considered as a mere state of the

One of the most

mind,

Envy

is

to

be regarded
;

as

only

sions of resentment

but, considered

b respect to the ocit is

one of the perverone of the There is no

casions of its origin, it must be added that most degrading and hateful perversions.

its hatefuLness ; and none which might be expected from of justice. Is more decisively condemned by the sentiments If we are asked why it is that, on the mere contemof the more favourable situation, and the greater plation advancement of another, we experience such an odious

passion

which

is

more tormenting

in the experience, as

in itself, we perversion of a principle apparently good and inordishall probably find a reason in the irregular Men frequently action of the principle of Self-love. nate cannot admit others selfish, that become so
to

they intensely an equal participation of what they enjoy, much

less

368

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

see them advanced to a higher situation, without a greater And it is this or less degree of repining and discontent.
state of

mind which
352

is

appropriately denominated Envy.


Jealousy

Modifications of resentment

There are still other varieties of that Resentment or in some important Hostility, which may be regarded, sense, as the basis of the whole series of the Malevolent Among these is Jealousy, which includes a passions. painful emotion caused by some object of love, and attended with a desire of evil towards that object. The circumstance which characterizes this passion, and constitutes its peculiar trait, is, that all its bitterness and hostility are inflicted on some one whom the jealous person The feeling of suspicious rivalship which often loves. exists between candidates for fame and power, is sometimes called jealousy, on account of its analogy to this There are various degrees of jealousy, from the passion. forms of mere mistrust and watchful suspicion to its highparoxysms. In general, the strength of the passion be found to be in proportion to the value which is attached to the object of it , and is, perhaps, more frequently found in persons who have a large share of pride than in others. Such, in consequence of the habitual belief of their own superiority, are likely to notice many
est

will

trifling inadvertencies,

and

to treasure

them up

as proofs

of intended neglect, which would not have been observed by others, and certainly were exempt from any evil intention.

The person under the influence of this passion is incapable of forming a correct judgment of the conduct of the individual who is the object of it ; he observes everything and gives it the worst interpretation ; and circumstances which, in another state of the mind, would have been tokens of innocence, are converted into proof of guilt
Although poetry,
it is

no

fiction

Are

As

" proofs of holy writ

Trifles, light as air, to the jealous confirmation strong

"

Hence
the meat

it is

justly said to

be the monster that " makes


it

it

feeds on ;" for

persevenngly broods over

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

369

the slightest suggestion, even when made with the most sincere kindness, and rears up a shapeless and frightful form, which in turn nourishes the baleful passion from

which
It

is

derived

its

own

existence.

this passion, that it is at times At one moment the mind is aniviolent exceedingly mated with all the feelings of kindness ; the next, it is transported with the strongest workings of hatred, and Conthen it is suddenly overwhelmed with contrition. between the extremes of love and tinually vacillating

may

be remarked of

hatred,
tion

it knows no rest ; it would gladly bring destrucon the object whom it dreads to lose more than any other, and whom at times it loves more than any other.

353

Modifications of resentment

Revenge

Another of the marked modifications of Resentment is REVENGE. By the spirit of revenge, as we sometimes express it, we generally understand a disposition not mereto inflict a degree ly to return suffering for suffering, but of pain on the person who is supposed to have injured us, beyond what strict justice requires. So that revenge seems to differ from resentment rather in degree than in kind ; in other words, it is unrestrained or excessive resentment.
It is true,

however, that

it

generally implies

something more than mere excess. It commonly exhibits the aspect of coolness and deliberateness in its designs $ and is as persevering in the execution of its hostile plans
If resentment, when deliberate in forming them. be considered, on the principles properly regulated, may of nature, as morally right, revenge, which is the unreas
it is

strained or inordinate form of resentment,

is always morwrong. It is a passion which is not only greatly inally consistent with the due exercise of the other powers of the mind, but is equally condemned by enlightened con-

science

and the

Scriptures.
354. Nature of the passion of fear

tions

conclude this review of this portion of the Affecwith a single other notice. The passion of Fear, like the other passions or affections that have passed under examination, embraces both a simple emotion of pain,

We

370

THE MALEVOLENT AFFECTIONS

we anticipate will be injurious to us, and also additional to the painful emotion, the desire of avoiding such object or its injurious effects.
caused by some object which

The

itself appearance question might suggest of reason, whether Fear, in view of the definition just be included under the general head of the given, should And this is one of the cases referMalevolent

with some

passions.

red

into the twofold diseparating the Affections vision of the Benevolent and Malevolent, when it was remarked, it might not in all respects be easy to carry the its details. Nevertheless, the arrangement into effect in fact that we experience pain in viewing the object feared, seems very accompanied with a desire of avoiding it, to involve the idea that it is an object of greater clearly In other words, that we have more or or less aversion. It is certainly the case if the will towards it. less ill is of such a nature that its presence is painful, that object we can hardly be said to love it. So that, at least, it would seem to come more naturally under the head of the
to, in

malevolent affections than under the other class. But to return to the nature of the passion itself. The of fear will be in proportion to the strength or intensity There is a difference of original susevil. apprehended this passion in different persons ; and the ceptibility of evil will consequently vary with amount of

apprehended

gree ence between the opinion which


fearful passion.

the quickness of such susceptibility. But, whatever causes may increase or dimmish the opinion of the deof evil which threatens, there will be a correspond*
is

formed of

it

and the

passion is extreme, it prevents the due exmoral susceptibility, and interrupts correct judgment of any kind whatever. It is a state of mind of great power, and one which will not bear to be trifled with. It may serve as a profitable hint to remark, that there have been persons thrown into a fright suddenly,, and perhaps in mere sport, which has immediately resulted in a most distressing and permanent mental disorganithis

When

ercise of the

zation.

and there

In cases where the anticipated evil is very great, is no hope of avoiding it in any way, the mind But the conexists in that state which is called DESPAIR.

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

371

sidtration of this deplorable state of mind, so far as it may be necessary to meet the objects of the present Work, will more properly come under the head of Dis-

ordered or Alienated Sensibilities.

CHAPTER

VI.

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.


355.

Of

the nature of love or benevolence

general.

the other great As the original principle of division of the Affections. Resentment is the basis of the Malevolent affections, so Love, in its more general form, appears to be at the foundof those which are ation, as a general thing at least, The affection termed, by way of distinction, Benevolent. of Love, like the other affections, is a complex state of mind, embracing, FIRST, a pleasant emotion in view of (he object ; and, SECOND, a desire of good to that object. -Hence there wi]l always be found in the object some either some excellence in the form, or in the relaquality, tions sustained, or in the intellect, or in the

WE proceed now to the consideration of

moral

traits,

capable of exciting a pleasThis emotion is the basis of the subseurable emotion. indissoluble combiquent desire ; but it is the strict and nation of the two that constitutes the Affection properly
or in all combined,

which

is

so called.
ifications

there are many modproper to remark here that or degrees of this affection ; such as the unand esteem, impassioned preference of friendly regard the warmer glow of friendship in the more usual acceptation of the term, and the increased feeling of devoted attachment. There are not only differences in degree, but the affection itself, considered in respect to its nature be invested with a simply, seems to be modified, and^to different aspect, according to the circumstances in which The love which children feel for t is found to operate. is different in some respects from that which their parents
It is

372

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

and sisters. The love of pathey feel for their brothers rents for their children possesses traits, difficult to be described in language, but recognisable by Consciousness, which distinguish it from their love to mankind genertheir love to their country, or their friends. Hence ally, or we are enabled, in consistency with what is the fact in the Affections under differrespect to them, to consider ent forms or heads, viz., the Parental affection, the Filial the Fraternal affection. Humanity, or the love
_

affoction,

of the human race, Patriotism, or the love of country, or Pity. Friendship, Gratitude, and Sympathy
356 Love,
in its various foims, characterized

by a twofold action.

varieties

but in all the Love, not only in its more general form, which, in consequence of our situation and of

the relations

we

sustain,

it is

made

to assume, is charac-

of resentment, by its terized, like the opposite principle It is sometimes seen, particularly action. twofold parents and children, to operate INSTINCTIVELY ; that is to

or forethought^ At other times say, without deliberation either to more or less of regulation, being subjected in its exercise by the facts and stimulated or
it is

repressed

which are furnished by reasoning ; and then it is said to possess a deliberate or VOLUNTARY exercise. This trait or characteristic, which pervades the whole series of the Natural or Pathematic sensibilities, has been so often referred to that it is unnecessary to delay upon
reflections
it

here.

357 Of the

parental affection

The principle of benevolence, love, or good-will, which in its general form, has thus been made the subject of a brief notice, is susceptible, like the malevolent affection One of the of Resentment, of various modifications.
mosl interesting and important of these modifications is The view which we propose to the Parental Affection. of this modification of benevolence or love is, that it take In support of this or implanted principle. is an
original
It is

view a number of things

may be

said.

the considerasupported, in the first place, by (I.) child is tion, that the relation between the parent and

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

373

child, in the

much more intimate and indissoluble than any other. The view of the parent, is not so much a distinct

and independent being as a reproduction and continuance of himself He sees not only the reflection of his person and dispositions in his offspring, but of his hopes, joys, and prospects ; in a word, of his whole being. Under such circumstances, it is almost impossible that the parental affection should be less deeply seated, less near to the root and bottom of the soul, than any other which
can be named. (n.) Such an affection seems, in the second place, to be required in order to enable parents to discharge effecThe tually the duties which are incumbent upon them. cares and troubles necessarily incidental to the parental relation, the daily anxieties, the nights of wakeful solicitude, the misgivings, the fears, and the sorrows without number, it would be impossible for human nature to supAnd port without the aid of an implanted principle. hence it is, that, in the ordering* and constitution of nature, this principle rises in such inexpressible beauty upon the parental heart. It diffuses its light upon it, like a star

upon a tempestuous ocean, and guides


parative safety. (EH.) In the third place, the
this affection

it

forward in comfact that

acknowledged

has an instinctive as well as a voluntary action, is a strong circumstance in favour of its being repurely voluntary affection cangarded as implanted. not, from the nature of the case, be implanted, because it depends upon the Will ; and will either exist or not exist, in accordance with the mere volitive determination. An instinctive affection cannot be otherwise than implanted ; because, as it does not depend upon the will, it has no other support than in nature. Now, although this affecand reation has a voluntary action, based upon inquiry son, it has also, at its foundation, an instinctive action, which is to be regarded as the work of the author of the

mind

So that, although it is proper to accomhimself. pany the statement with the remark that it has a twofold action, the affection, regarded as a whole, may justly be looked upon as an original or implanted one. (IV.) In the fourth place, its universality is a circum
1
1

274

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

stance in favour of the view which has been taken. should naturally expect, in regard to any affection not the deimplanted, and which depends exclusively upon cisions of the reason and the will, that there would be

We

may frequent failures in its dent that this would be the result But the parental affecnever fails. In tion, in a mind not actually disordered, all climes and countries, and among all classes of men, however debased by ignorance or perverted by the prevalence of vice, we may find the traces, and with scarcely an exception, the marked and distinct traces of this ennoThere is no portion of the human race bling principle. so degraded that it would not turn with abhorrence from the man that did not love his offspring.
exercise.
of the parental affection $ 358. Illustrations of the strength

We

even be confi-

in favour of regarding the (V.) Another circumstance Secas an implanted one is its great strength. principle associaa process affections, or those which, by ^of ondary it is true, extion, are built upon others, are sometimes, but this is found to be the case only in ceedingly strong; and not as a general trait. In respect particular instances, to the affection before us, it is not found to be strong in one mind and weak in another, but is strong, excedingly
It in all minds alike. strong, as a general statement, be interesting to give some illustrations of this might statement, as, in truth, scarcely any of the facts illustrative of the mind's action in its various departments are wholly destitute of interest. But, on this subject, such is the uni-

versal intensity of this affection, that they multiply on

He who has not noticed them has voluntaexhibieyes to some of the most interesting So that a single incident of this tions of human nature. kind, which will not fail to find a corroborative testimony in every mother's heart, will suffice. " When the Ajax man-of-war took fire in the straits of in the 1807, an awful scene of distraction
every
side.

his rily shut

ensued. The ship was of great size, full of people, and under the attack of an enemy at the time ; the mouths of destruction seemed to wage in contention for their prey. of those on board could entertain no hopes of de-

Bosphorus

year

Many

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

375

liverance : striving to shun one devouring element, they were the victims of another. While the conflagration

was raging

furiously,

and

shrieks of terror rent the


herself, infant child.
it

air.,

an unfortunate mother, regardless of

citous only for the safety of her attempted to escape ; but she committed

seemed soliShe never

of an

officer,
it

who,

at her earnest request,


;

to the charge endeavoured to

secure

in his coat

and, following the tender deposite

with her eyes as he

Amid

tastrophe in which the exertions of the officer in such an emergency, the infant dropped into the sea, which was no sooner dis-

retired, she calmly awaited that cathe rest were about to be involved.

covered by the unhappy parent, than, frantic, she plunged from the vessel's side as if to preserve it ; she sunk, and was seen no more."*
$ 359.

Of

the

filial

affection.

As a counterpart to the interesting and important affection which has thus been briefly noticed, nature has instituted the filial affection, or that affection which children
bear to their parents. The filial affection, although it agrees with the parental in the circumstance of its being implanted or connatural in the human mind, differs from It is understood, among other it in some of its traits.

And it is undoubtedly things, to possess less strength. the fact, that it does not, as a general thing, flow forth towards its object with the same burning, unmitigated intensity.

And

this is just

what we might expect, on the

supposition that the

who

possesses all
is

human mind comes from an Author wisdom. The great practical object for
affection is

which the parental


of parents,
tion

implanted in the bosoms

and

to secure to their offspring that close attencare which are so indispensable in the incipient

The responsibility which rests upon them stages of life. the discharge of their duties to their children, is, hi the and in the aggregate of its variety of its applications amount, obviously greater than that which rests upon children in the discharge of their duty to their parents. could answer, so far as we are able to judge, the

Nothing
*

requisitions

which are constantly made on the parent


of the Passions,

to

Origin and Progress

(Anonymous-,)

vol.

148

376

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS

meet the child's condition of weakness, suffering, and want, and to avert ifs liabilities, both mental and bodily,
to error, but the

wakeful energy of a principle stronger even than the love of life. But it is different on the part of the children. As a general thing, no such calls of constant anxiety and watchfulness in the behalf of anat least in the early part of their love to their parents, although unquestionably strong enough for the intentions of nature, burns with a gentler ray.

other are
their

made upon them,


Hence

life.

360

The

filial

affection original or implanted

took occasion, in the preceding section, to remark incidentally, that the filial affection, as well as the parental, is oiiginal or implanted, in distinction from the docIt is

We

being of an associated or secondary formation not our purpose, however, to enter minutely into this inquiry ; and yet there are one or two trains of thought
trine of its

having a bearing upon it which we are unwilling wholly to omit. Our first remark is, that if the filial affection

were wholly voluntary and not implanted; in other words, if it were based wholly on reason and reflection/ there is no question that it would be extinguished much more frequently than it is in point of fact. But that mere reason and reflection are not the entire basis of the affection, seems to be evident from the fact that we continue to love our parents under circumstances when reason, if
consulted that alone, would probably pronounce them love. Our parents, as is sometimes the case, may treat us with great and unmerited neglect ; they may plunge into the commission of crimes; they may become

we

unworthy of

degraded and despised in the eyes of the community ; but they still have a pure and elevated place, which nature has furnished for them in their children's hearts. This train of thought (which, it is proper to remark in passing, is equally applicable to parental love, and tends to confirm the views brought forward under that head) goes with no small weight to show that the affection before us-,has an instinctive or natural basis.

Qg$ second
rt)p

remark, which is also equally applicable to parental affection, is, that men, with scarcely an excep-

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

377

hon, show, by their judgments and treatment of this affec or implanted. they regard it as constitutional It is evident that they expect us to treat our parents with great forbearance and kindness under all circumstances. If another person should insult and injure us, public sentiment would probably justify us in inflicting some sort of punishment But it would not justify us, under precisely the same circumstances of provocation, in inflicting punishment upon, or even showing marked disrespect to a Not parent, because it would be a violation of nature. the disapprobation, but the contempt and abhormerely rence of mankind, inflicted with scarcely the possibility of a failure, is the fearful penalty which nature has attached to a want of parental love, even when the conduct This is eviof the parent himself has been reprehensible. Men act in this cuse as their dently the work of nature. But nature is never at variance nature prompts them. with herself. If she in this way distinctly intimates that she requires us to love our parents at all times, in advertion, that

and in prosperity, in honour and in degradation, in good and in evil report, it is obvious that she has not left the affection to mere reason and reflection, for it is imposcould be sustained in such sible that love so unchangeable a manner, but supports it upon an instinctive or constisity

tutional basis.

make

merely add, leaving it to the reader himself to the application of the remark, that nearly all the considerations which were brought forward to show the connatural origin of the parental affection, might be propcase of the erly adduced to show the same thing in the
filial

We

affection.
$

361

Illustrations of the

filial

affection

Interesting instances of the results of the filial affection And while it are to be found wherever there are men. is admitted that there are some unfavourable tendencies in human nature, it is pleasant to contemplate it in an asIt is the fact, indeed, that pect so amiable and honourable. as a general thing, do not appear to be willing children, to labour and suffer so much for parents as the parents do There are more frequent instances of a for the children.

378
failure
all

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

of fijal than of parental love. Nevertheless, in has sustained itages of the world, the filial affection self in such a way as to- bring honour to the Being that Children have not only supported and implanted it consoled their parents in the ordinary duties and trials of have followed them life, but, in multitudes of instances,

with their presence and their consolations

into

banishment

and to prison. At the accession of the

late

Emperor Alexander of

confined for politiRussia, many prisoners, cal and other reasons in the preceding reign, were set at
I saw," says Kotzebue, liberty. " an old colonel of the this interesting period,

who had been

"

who was

in Russia at

Cossacks to Count de Pahlen's brought from the foitress this generous youth is exremeapartments. The story of His father had been dragged, for I know ly interesting. not what offence, from Tscherkask to Petersburg, and Soon afterward his son arrived, there

and

his son

closely imprisoned. a handsome and brave young man, who had obtained, in the reign of Catharine II., the cross of St. George and For a long time he exerted himself that of Wolodimer.
to

solicitations and procure his father's enlargement by no hopes of success, he requestpetitions ; but, perceiving to share his caped, as a particular favour, to be allowed and misfortunes. This was in part granted to him ; tivity to the fortress, but was not he was committed a

prisoner

unfortunate old permitted to see his father , nor was the man ever informed that his son was so near him. On a sudden the prison bolts were drawn; the doors were opened ; his son rushed into his arms ; and he not only learned that he was at liberty, "but, at the same time, was informed of the noble sacrifice which filial piety had ofHe alone can decide which information gave him fered.

most delight."*

It is true, there have been instances of parents who have done more than this ; who have not only "been ready to suffer banishment or imprisoment, but have willingoffered their fives for the welfare of their ly and joyfully In the time of the French Revolution, General children.
f^oizerolles, availing himself of a stratagem in orcler to * Kotzebue's Exile, p. 254,

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS,


effect the object, died It might not

his son.

upon the scaffold in the place ol be easy to bring instances, although

some such have probably existed, of children dying for But history furnishes some affecting cases, their parents. where the child has poured back into the parental bosom " The the fountain of life which had been received. 168. mother of a woman," says the writer referred to, " in humble at Rome, the jailer, life, being condemned rather than execute the sentence, wished from humanity Meantime no one but her to let her perish of famine. was admitted to the prison, and that after she daughter was strictly searched. But the curiosity of the man be-

own milk. The people among whom this incident occurred were not insensible of its virtue, and a temple dedicaSo was ted to Piety was afterward erected on the spot. an aged father, under similar circumstances, preserved by similar means he, too, was thus nourished by his daugh:

by the unusual duration of her survivance, he watched their interview, and discovered the daughter the author of her days with her affectionately nourishing
ing aroused

ter."
362. Of the nature of the fraternal affection.

<$

one other affection connected with the famiwhich bears the marks, although, somewhat less distinctly than in the cases already perhaps, We refer, mentioned, of a natural or implanted origin.

There

ly or domestic relation,

as will be readily understood, to the Fraternal Affection, The love which we or the love of brothers and sisters. bear to our brothers and sisters, although, in the basis or of its nature, it is the same with any other
essentiality a trait not easily love, has something peculiar about it, internal experience or expressed in words, which, in our

consciousness of
fection.

it,

distinguishes

it

from every other

af-

are aware that some will endeavour to explain the origin of this affection by saying, that it is owing to the circumstance of brothers and sisters being brought^up same roof, and thus participating together beneath the and an companionship. Nor are we dis"j\

We

long early posed to deny, that this circumstance probably has^some weight in imrjartms: to it an increased degree of inten-

380
sity.

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

But there is a single fact, which furnishes an answer to the doctrine, that denies a distinct nature to the Fraternal Affection, and regards it as a mere modification
of love in general, occasioned by the circumstance of It is this. When early and long-continued intercourse.

we love brought up beneath the same roof, although them very much, yet we never have that peculiar feeling other and known only by experience) (distinct from every which flows out to a brother or sister. There is something

other persons, not

members of the same

family,

are

having the same father and mother, in looking same source of origin, in being nourished upward
jii

to the

at the same fountain in infancy, in feeling the same lifeblood course through our veins, which constitutes, under the creative hand of nature, a sacred tie unlike any other. There are other views of the subject, besides that

which has

just

been noticed, which contribute

to

show

the connaturalness and permanency of this affection. number of the remarks which have been made in support of the implanted or connatural origin of the Parental and But we leave the subFilial affections, wdl apply here.
of such reflections, as will be likely ject to the decision to suggest themselves to the mind of the reader himself
".
<

363.

On

the utility of the domestic affections

In the institution of the affections which have now passed under a rapid and imperfect review, and which, taken together, may be spoken of under the general denomination of the Domestic affections, we have evidence of that benevolence and wisdom which are seen so frequently in the arrangements of our mental nature. These affections are not only sources of happiness to individuals and families, diffusing an undefinable but powerful charm over the intercourse of life j they also indirectly exert a great influence in the support of society generally It was, indeed, a strange notion of some of the ancients, of Plato in particular, that the domestic affections are at variance with the love of country; and that, in order to these affections, children should be extinguish taken frcm their parents at their birth, and transferred to But the the state to be educated at the public expense.

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

381

domestic affections are too deeply planted, paiticularly that of parents, to be generally destroyed by any process of this kind ; and if it were otherwise, the result would be
as injurious to the public as to individual happiness.
is

It

unquestionable, that one of the great supports of society is most watchful and diligent is the family relation. in his business ? is the most constant friend of public

Who

Who

crder, and the law 1

is

most prompt in rallying to the standard of

general thing, is the best friend, the Not he who is set best neighbour, and the best citizen? loose from family relationships, and wanders abroad without a home ; but he, however poor and unknown to fame, has a father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters; who sees his own sorrows and happiness multiplied in the sorrows and happiness of those around him ; and who is strong in the advocacy and support of

Who, as a

who

the common and public good ; not only because it involves his own personal interest, but the interest and happiness of all those who are linked arm in arm with himself by the beauty and sacredness of domestic ties.
6 364.

Of

the moral character of the domestic affections, and of the

benevolent affections generally.

One of the most interesting inquiries in connexion with the domestic affections, and the benevolent affections genon which there has been a great dierally, and one, too,
these affections possess a versity of opinion, is, whether moral character, and what that character is. The more common opinion seems to have been, that all affections

which are truly benevolent are necessarily, and from the mere fact of their being benevolent, morally good or

Nor is it perhaps surprising, that this opinion virtuous. should be so often entertained. Certainly, as compared with the other active principles, coming under the general head of the Natural or Pathematic sensibilities, they hold the highest rank; and we frequently ^apply epithets to them which indicate our belief of their comparative speak of them, not only as innocent pre-eminence. and useful, but as interesting, amiable, and lovely ; and from time to time apply other epithets, which equally show the favourable place which they occupy in our re-

We

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTION?.


0-ard.

All this

we

allow ; but

still

nly,

and in consequence
correct

of* their

they are not necessa own nature simply

morally good.

The
this; that

view on this subject we apprehend to be same that has been taken of other principles, (the So in their nature and operation.) are
analogous

or infar as the benevolent affections are constitutional to their stinctive in their action, they are indifferent as

So moral character being neither morally good nor evil. far as they have a voluntary action, they will be either the one or the other, according to the circumstances of for instance, the mother hears the sudthe case.
^

When,

den and unexpected scream of her child in another room, and impetuously rushes to its relief, we allow the action and to be naturally good, and exceedingly interesting

do not feel at liberty to predicate virtue of lovely ; but we because it is obviit it, and to pronounce morally good, If the act, done unor instinctive. ously constitutional it der such circumstances, be necessarily virtuous, then that virtue may be predicated of sheep, clearly follows who exhibit, under like cows, and other brute animals,
circumstances, the

same

be regarded, and amiable they may appear, as interesting neither morally good nor evil

offspring. are instinctive in their operation, they are to

So

far, therefore,

instinctive attachment to their as the benevolent affections

however

365 Of

the moral character of the voluntary exercises of the lent affections

bcnevo

far as the benevolent affections are voluntary ; words, so far as they exist in view of motives: the mind, voluntarily and deliberately brought before to the nature of the voluntary efthey may be, according Take, as an illustration, fort, either virtuous or vicious. another instance of the operations of the maternal affecThe basis of this affection is unquestionably pure tion. But it has, in addition to this, a voluntary operInstinct. it is to be presumed, ation ; and this accessory operation, is in the Nevertheless, whenmajority of cases Virtuous. ever this amiable and ennobling affection becomes inormother strong, when under its irfluence the

But so

in other

dinately

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS

383

leaves the child to vicious courses, against the remonstrances of the sentiment of duty, its exercise evidently

becomes vicious. On the other hand, if the mother, perhaps in consequence of the improper conduct of the child, or a perplexing inability to meet its numerous wants, or

some other reason, finds its affection falling below the standard which is requisite in order to fulfil the intentions of nature, and in this state of things restores and invigo^rates its exercise by a careful and serious consideration of all the responsibilities involved in the maternal relation, it assumes the opis equally clear that its exercise at once not merely of amiableness, but of virtue posite character,
for

366

Of

the connexion

between benevolence and rectitude.

We may

add

to

what has now been remarked,

that

the highest and most ennobling form of benevolence exPerfect justice is, by ists in connexion with strict justice. the constitution of things, indissolubly conjoined with the All forms and degrees of general and the highest good. which are at variance, whether more or less, benevolence, with perfect rectitude, although they are aiming at good
or happiness, are nevertheless seeking something less than the greatest possible happiness. Even benevolence, therefore, is, and ought to be, subjected to some regulating power. Whenever we distinctly perceive that its present

indulgence in any given case will tend, whatever may be immediate bearing, to ultimate unhappiness and misery, we are sacredly bound by the higher considerations of
its

duty to repress

it.

And

there

is

as

much

virtue in re-

as there would be at pressing its action at such times other times in stimulating it. One of the most benevolent men of whom history Las Casas, bishgives us any account was Baitholomew op of Chiapa. In 1502 he accompanied Ovando to and sent out Hispaniola, who had been commissioned He there witto that island. as the

Spanish governor

nessed, with all the pain of a naturally benevolent heart, the cruel treatment which was experienced by the native inhabitants ; the deprivation of their personal rights, the seizure of their lands, their severe toil, and inexorable

punishment.

He was

deeply affected;

and fiom that

384

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

time devoted the whole of Ms subsequent life, a period of more than sixty years, to exertions in their behalf. Under the impulse of a most unquestionable benevolence, this good man recommended to Cardinal Ximenes, who was at that time at the head of Spanish affairs, the introduction of Negro 'slaves into the West India Islands, as one of the best methods of relief to the native inhabitants, ~ introduce this statement for the purpose of illus-

We

The measures of Las Casas, which trating our subject. tended to introduce enslaved Africans into the Spanish
were the results, beyond all question, of a holy and exalted benevolence. But if he could have foreseen the treatment of the Negroes, still more dreadful than that to which the native inhabitants were subjected ; if he could have beheld in anticipation the desolations which have spread over Africa in consequence of the Slave Trade, it would have been his duty, whatever good in whose might have immediately resulted to the Indians, behalf he was so deeply interested, to have checked and controlled his benevolent feelings, and to have endured the present rather than have been accessory to the future
islands,

his benevolence to the native under such circumstances and in such a form, inhabitants, (however amiable and interesting benevolence, in itself
evil.

The indulgence of

considered, undoubtedly is in all cases whatever,) would have been a violation of duty, and consequently a sin. So false and pernicious is that system which ascribes to benevolence in its own nature, and independently of its
relations to the
367.

law of

rectitude, the character of virtue


or the love of the

Of humanity,

human

race.

Another of the implanted


love of the

human

race.

On

affections is HUMANITY, or the this subject there are only


viz., that

three suppositions to
naturally regards

be made,

man

is

by nature
he

indifferent to the welfare of his fellow-man, or that

feelings of hostility, or that he has a degree of interest in his welfare and loves him That man is by nature entirely indifferent to the welfare

him with

of his fellow-beings,
likely to
sition,,

is a proposition which will not be meet with many supporters ; still less the propoalthough some have been found to advocate it,

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

385

that he is by nature and instinctively the enemy of man. But, in endeavouring to support the third proposition, that

he has naturally a degree of


the welfare of the

interest in, and a desire for members of the human race generally,
^

expressed by 1he terms HUMANITY or PHILANTHROPY, we it to be understood that we do not, as a general thing, claim for the exercise of this affection any marked intenIt is too evident that it possesses but little strength sity. compared with what it should ; and that it falls far short of the Scriptural requisition, which exacts the same love The fact undoubtedly for our neighbour as for ourselves. is, that the principle is impeded in its action and diminished in its results by the inordinate exercise of the principle of SELF-LOVE, which is constantly recalling our attention within the restricted circle of our personal interests. But the affection of HUMANITY, although thus restricted in its action, and depressed far below the standard which its great Author justly claims for it, has never-

wish

theless

an existence.
is
is

This

which

shown, in the first place, from the great interest always taken, and by all classes of persons, in

anything which relates to human nature, to man considered as a human being, irrespective, in a great degree, of There are his country and of the period of his existence. numerous other subjects of inquiry ; and we undoubtedly feel a considerable degree of interest in whatever reaches us from different quarters of the earth in respect to their
structure, climate,

man

and resources. But it is chiefly when mentioned that the heart grows warm. We listen to the story of his situation and foi tunes, even for the first time, as of one in whom flows the same fountain of life. When we touch a string here, we find a vibration in every human heart. The mere aspect of man, the mere sound of the human voice, unaided by a multitude of associations which often enhance their effect, awakens emotions of we find a person regard and interest. And seldom can
is

so
to

immersed in

his

own

selfishness as boldly

and openly

avow, that the pursuit of his personal interests, with whatever good reasons it may in itself seem to be justithe fied, is a valid and honourable excuse for annulling

KK

380

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

claims of humanity, and sundering the tie of universal brotherhood.


$ 368

Further proofs

m support of the doctrine


or love for the

of an innate humanity,

human race.

In the second place, the testimony of individuals who have heen so situated as to put the natural sentiments of mankind in this respect to a fair trial, is favourable to the doctrine of the natural existence of humane or philanrefer here, in particular, to the thropic feelings. statements of travellers, who, either by designer by accident, have been placed, for a considerable time, among however, to exclude tribes; without

We

Savage

meaning,

those who, in civilized lands, have been favourably situated for ascertaining the tendencies of the human heart. for instance, who was suddenly seized and sent

Kotzebue,

an exile into Siberia, where he remained some time, was thrown into the company of various classes of persons under such circumstances that he could hardly fail to form a correct judgment in the matter under consideration. The Narrative of his Exile, which is exceedingly interestmind, considered as naturally ing, discovers the human
of the human race, disposed to the misery or happiness under a decidedly favourable aspect. In the recollection
:

of the good and the evil he had experienced, and in view of the numerous facts recorded in his book, he exclaims " How few hard-hearted and insensible beings are to be misfortunes have conmet with in my Narrative firmed me in the opinion, that man may put confidence in his fellow-man," Almost all the travellers into the interior of Africa, Vaillant, Park, Sparman, Clapperton, Denham, the Lan!

My

ders, and others, although they travelled among tribes in the highest degree ignorant and degraded, constantly speak of the kindness they experienced. On a certain occasion, Park, for reasons connected with the circumstance of his being an entire stranger in the country, was obliged to remain all day without food. About sunset, as he was turning his horse loose to graze, and had before him the prospect of spending the night in solitude and hunger, a woman happened to pass near him as she

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

387

was returning from her employment In the fields. As tonished at seeing a white man, she stopped to gaze upon him; and, noticing his looks of dejection and sorrow kindly inquired from what cause they proceeded. When Park had explained his destitute situation, the woman
j

immediately took up his saddle and bridle, and desired to follow her to her home. There, after having lighted a lamp, she presented him with some broiled fish^ spread a mat for him to lie upon, and gave him permission to remain in her humble dwelling till the morning. Park informs us, that, during the chief part of the night, the woman and her female companions were occupied with spinning ; and that they beguiled their labour with a variety of songs; one of which had reference to his own situation. The air was sweet and plaintive, and the and as follows. " The winds words were

him

literally

roared,

the rains

fell.

The poor white man,

came and sat under our tree. He him milk, no wife to grind him corn. Let us pity the white man; no mother has he to bring him milk, no wife to grind him corn."
t)

and weary, has no mother to bring


faint

369

Proofs of a

humane

or philanthropic principle from the existence of benevolent institutions

It will be noticed, we do not assert that the principle of love to our fellow-men, considered simply as members of the human race, is as strong in the human mind as it should be. All we propose to assert and maintain is, that it actually has an existence there to some extent And, among other proofs, we might, in the third place, properly refer to those numerous benevolent institutions such as hospitals, infirmaries, asylums, houses of refuge charity schools, and charitable societies of every descripIt is true that tion, which exist in all parts of the world. institutions of this kind flourish most, and it is a circumstance exceedingly honourable to the tendency of the But the fact Christian in Christian countries.

undoubtedly

religion, is, that,

on suitable inquiry,

we may

find

evidences in a diminished degree, of benevolent efforts, and traces of benevolent institutions, such as have been now referred to, in lands not thus highly favoured. IB

388

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

the recently-published life of the Missionary Swartz, (ch we find the following incidental remark, which xi.,)

throws light upon the state of things in India. Speaking " Its of the territory of Tanjore, the writer says, capital, on the Delta of the Coleroon and the Cavary, bordering to wealthy and splendid, adorned with a pagoda, which eclipses in magnificence all other structures in the South of India; and exceeding, in the number of its sacred buildings and charitable institutions, all the neighbouring
provinces." Among other facts kindred with those which have now been alluded to, it is well known, that when any portion

of the

human

race have been subjected by

fire,

war, fam-

ine, the pestilence, or some convulsion of nature, to great affliction, an interest is felt, and efforts are made in their

behalf in other countries.

As an

illustration

of what

we

mean,

when, some years since, the Greek nation, and, still more recently, the inhabitants of the Cape de Verd Islands, were in a state of extreme want, although they were a remote people, and scarcely known among us, a number of vessels, in both cases, were sent from this country to their assistance,
it

will suffice to remark, that

loaded with provisions at the expense of private individuals. Many facts of this kind might be mentioned, which are obviously inconsistent with the idea that man is Indifferent to the welfare of his fellow-man, much more that men are naturally hostile to each other.
370
Other remarks
in

proof of the same doctrine

question Chat Sociality, or the desire of society, is connatural to the is it presumable that men are so created as earnestly to covet the society of others, when, at the same^ time, those whose company they seek are, ty the constitution of nature, the objects of entire indiffer-

In the fourth place, the principle of HUMANITY is requisite, in order to render human nat~ire at all consistent with itself. -We have, for instance, implanted within us the desire of Esteem, which is universal in its operation But why should we be so constituted as naturally to de3ire the esteem of those whom, at the same time, we natorally hate or are indifferent to 1 There is no

human mind ; but

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.


ence or of decided aversion

389

shall

have within ;us, as we ? have occasion to notice hereafter, the distinct prinwhich prompts us both to preciple of Pity or Sympathy, vent suffering and to relieve it when it exists ; a principle which no one supposes is designed bjr nature to be limited in its operation to the immediate circle of our relatives and friends, but which has men as such for its object, and the wide world for the field of its exercise. But on what
is it possible that to relieve or prevent the suffershe also imperatively requires us tc ings of others, or, at least, with unwith sentiments of

We

or consistency grounds of wisdom

na-

ture should

prompt men

whom

1 Furthermore, our Conscience requires feeling coldness us to treat our fellow-men, in all ordinary cases, with internal condemnation kindness, and we experience an when we do not do it ; which would at least not be the

regard

hostility,

case

the subjects of a natural hostility to them. on such grounds we assert that human nature, in order to be consistent with itself, requires a principle of to man, considered simply as possessing good-will or love a kindred origin and nature.
if

we were

It is

371

Of

love of country patriotism or

One of the most important modifications of that more form of good-will or benevolence general and extensive to all mankind, is PATRIOTISM, or love of which extends It seems to be the intention of nature, when country. we consider the diversities of customs and languages that in many cases, counties are exist, and particularly that, from each other, by large rivers, lakes, distinctly separated and seas, that mankind, instead of begulfs, mountains, one government, shall exist in separate and dising under its own institutinct communities or nations, each having And such, at any raters the fact civil polity. tions and are not only members of mankind and citizens of the to be more distinctly and world, (a relation which ought than it ever has been,) but are mem*

We

fully recognised bers, and, as such,

own
tion

particular community.
is

laid for

a foundathat particular state of mind which we de

have appropriate duties

to

fulfil,

of our

And it is thus that

nominate Patriotism.

390

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

This affection we regard as secondary rather than origito exIt is that love which we exercise, and ought nal towards the members of our species considered as ercise, that those towards such, heightened by the consideration

whom

init is put forth are sprung from the same race, habit the same territory, are under the same constitutions of government, speak the same language, and have the same interests. So that the love of our race, as it is modified in

the form of love of our country, while

it is

more

intense. And, in restricted, becomes proportionally more one of the predominant point of fact, it is unquestionably and ruling principles which regulate the conduct of men.
^

are not to suppose that there is necesFor, in conflict between these two principles. sarily any to our country we are doing good to mankind ;

Nevertheless,

we

doing good

mankind which Provithem more immediately within the scope dence, by placing as of our observation and effort, seems to have assigned time it field of our beneficence. At the same the

and

to that particular portion of

cannot be denied, that patriotism, in its irregular and unrestrained exercise, does sometimes, and but too frequentwith Philanthropy, or the love of man. The ly, interfere of patriotism, as a general thing, has become dispassion with the love of as in

especial

of our country, by being brooded over, are exaggerated to our percepcontinually tion ; while those of mankind are too much lost sight of. for the feeling lamentation nf There is too much

proportionate the human race.

degree,

compared

The

interests

ground

Cowper

" Lands intersected by a narrow frith Mountains interposed Abhor each other Make enemies of nations, who had else, Like kindred drops, been mingled into one."

372.

Of

the affection of friendship

Another interesting modification of that feeling ol to our good-will or love, which, as men, we naturally bear fellow-men, is denominated Friendship. It is a passion so distinctly marked, that it well deserves a separate notice, although there are no good grounds for regarding
it,

love which

considered as a distinct affection, as connatural. The we bear to our species is so diffused, that it

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

391

cannot be traid, as a general thing, to possess a high deAs it withdraws from the vast circumgree of strength. ference of the human race, and contracts its exercise within the narrow circle of our country, it acquires increased energy. Retreating within the still more restrict*

ed

limits

which imbody those with


it

accustomed to associate,

assumes a

whom we are most new modification,

being not only characterized by greater strength, but a source of greater pleasure. And this, in distinction from Humanity or Philanthropy, which extends to all mankind, as well as in distinction from Patriotism, which merely
spreads
itself

over the extent of our country,


other

we

call

FRIENDSHIP.

This affection, like the

benevolent

affections

which have been mentioned, includes in itself an emotion of pleasure, combined with the desire of good to its It exists, or object. may be supposed to exist, in respect to those persons who are not only so situated as to be the subjects of our intimacy, but possess such qualities as to be deserving of our esteem. It is, perhaps, a common remark, in connexion with this particular view of the subject, that
a similarity of character is requisite as the basis of this afThis, to some extent, is true ; but the remark It is ceris not to be received without some limitation. the case, that friendship is consistent with diversitainly Persons who differ much in the quickties of intellect. ness and amplitude of intellectual action, may nevertheBut it less entertain for each other a sincere friendship. must be admitted, it does not readily appear how such friendship can exist in the case of persons who differ esThe fact that one of the sentially in moral character. that one of them parties is virtuous, the other vicious ; attaches his highest veneration and esteem to that rectitude which the other regards as of no value, can hardthe reciprocaly fail to interpose between them, as far as
fection.

tion of friendship is concerned,


<

an insuperable barrier

373.

Of

the affection of pity or sympathy.

If

not ^infrequently the case that

we

find

around us

those who, from want, or disease, or objects of suffering ; some other cause, are justly entitled to the aid of their

392

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

Provi* fellow-men. In order to meet this state of things,^ within us the principle of dence has kindly implanted an instinctive and powerful Pity, which prompts us, by to render the aid which is so frequently needed. impulse, This benevolent affection differs from others, in being based upon a painful instead of a pleasant emotion. The occasion of the exercise of the affection of Pity; or

On contemplating Sympathy is some case of suffering. the scene of suffering, it is the result, in all ordinary caa painful emotion, which is fol ses, that we experience lowed by a desire to relieve the suffering object This principle is practically a very important one. I in connexioi is a sentiment of Bishop Butler, expressed that the misery of men is mucl with this very subject,
^

to a much greater extent, under th< than their happiness. The sources o* power of others and bodily, are to a great exteni happiness, both mental of inin ourselves; and although they are susceptible offices of crease through the instrumentality of the kind in a very great degree.^ But it others, yet not ordinarily who is thus evilly disis in the power of any individual, not one or two merely, but even posed, to plunge others, whole neighbourhoods, into misery. The principle of but also is called forth not only in the^actual Pity, which in the anticipated prospect of suffering, aids, in connexion with other causes, in keeping under proper restraint of this important powany tendency to a wrong exercise It not only exercises the important office ^of preventer. as it were, in anticipation, but ing suffering, by operating, watches over, and relieves it when it has actualit

more

directly,

and

visits,

And in this last point of vie vv particularly, ly occurred. as well as in the other, it commends itself to our notice and admiration as a practical principle eminently suited
to the condition
$

and wants of man.


the moial character of pity

374 Of

an opinion sometimes expressed, that an affection so amiable, and generally so useful as that of Pity, canIt is not wonderful, when not be otherwise than virtuous. we take into view the interesting character of the affection, that such an opinion should be entertained ; but we
It is

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.


cannot regard
so
it

393

as strictly coriect.

It is

well understood,

much
it is

so as not to

be considered a matter of doubt, that

the first instance instinctively. in instituting easy to see the intention of nature In a multitude of cases where this form of its action. we can relieve the sufferings of our fellow-men, our assistance would come too late if we acted on the hesitaAn instinctive ting and cautious suggestions of reason. so far as the action is And, action, therefore, necessary. of the principle is of this kind, it must be obvious thai
this affection operates in

And

it is

neither virtuous nor vicious.

The prinis another view of this subject. ciple of sympathy may be checked in its exercise when it is too intense, or increased when deficient, under the
But there
influences of a deliberate

der these circumstances,


character, being right or It stances of the case.
to the requisitions of

its

and voluntary effort. And, unaction may have a voluntary


to the circum-

wrong according
is

right

when

it is

subordinated

erwise

it is

wrong.

an enlightened conscience ; but othAnd it may be wrong by excess as


If,

well as by defect.

for instance,

we happened

to see a

person severely but justly punished under the authority of law, we might exercise pity in his behalf. But if, under the mere impulse of pity, we should be led to attempt his rescue, in violation of the rights and interests of sociof it would be wrong. Again, we ety, such an exercise can hardly fail to pity the wretchedness of the emaciated beggar who asks for our assistance; but if we are well to persuaded that the bestowment of alms will only tend those vicious habits which have led to this encourage wretchedness, it may become a duty both to check our sympathy and to withhold our aid. At the sarae time we do not deny, that we may very of the virtuousness of justly draw inferences in favour
that man's character in

whom

this interesting passion is

predominant. And we say this, because, although symin point pathy does not necessarily imply virtuousness, yet, of fact, it is seldom the case that they are at variance with each other. They generally run in the same track*
acting harmoniously together.

394

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS


375. Of the affection of gratitude.

Another distinct modification of that general state of the mind which is denominated love, is the implanted or connatural affection of GKATITUDE. Although this, like the other benevolent affections, includes an emotion of pleasure or delight, combined with a desire of good or a benevolent feeling towards the object of it, it nevertheless has its characteristics, which clearly distinguish it from
never give the name of gratitude, for instance, to this combination of pleasant and benevolent feeling, except it arise in reference to some benefit or benefits conferred. Furthermore, GRATITUDE involves, as the basis or occasion of its origin, not only the mere fact of a good conferred, but of a designed or intentional benefit. If the benefit which we have received can be traced to some private or selfish motive on the part of the person from whom it comes, we may be pleased, as we probably shall be, with the good that has accrued to us ; but shall cease, from the moment of the discovery of his motive, to entertain any gratitude to the author of it. Gratitude 9 therefore, can never be excited within us, except in view of what is in fact, or is supposed to be, true, unadulterated benevolence. Different individuals manifest considerable diversity in There are some perthe exercise of grateful emotions.

them.

We

sons

who

upon them, but


fits,

exhibit, in the reception of the favours conferred slight visible marks of grateful regard ;

others are incapable of such a passive reception of beneand are strongly affected with their bestowal. Thi& in part, to original diverdifference is probably owingj, sities of constitution; and is partly to be ascribed to lifFerent views of the characters and duties of men, or to othe** adventitious circumstances.

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

395

CHAPTER

VH.

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS


LOVE TO THE SUPREME BEING.
$ 376.

Man

created originally with the principle of love to Gvd,

IN order to preserve the other principles of human nature in the position which the great Author of that nature has assigned to them, and to render their action just in itself and harmonious in its relations, we have reason to believe that there was originally in the human constitution a principle of love to the Supreme Being. This affection, it may well be supposed, was entirely analogous, both in its nature and its operations, to the other Benevolent Affections, possessing, like them, a twofold It differed, however, action, INSTINCTIVE and VOLUNTARY. greatly in the degree or intensity of its action ; being

rendered to its appropriate object, as might be expected from the unspeakably high and holy nature of that object, with all the energy of which the mind was capable. That man must have been created originally with such a principle of love, overruling and regulating all the subordinate principles, we think must be evident, in the place, from the considerations furnished by Analogy.
first

the departments of the mind, so far as it has under our examination, we have seen evidences of contrivance and wisdom ; everything has its place, adaptations, and uses ; and noising, so far as we

In

all

hitherto passed

can judge,
this

If it were necessary in is done imperfectly. inquiry to put out of view the Intellect, so wonderful in its adaptation and its resources, we should hardly fail to find, in the distinct departments of the Sensibilities, ample illustrations and proofs of this remark. The In-

stincts,

which naturally arrest our attention first, have obviously their appropriate place and office; and although they rank lowest in the enumeration of our active principles, are yet

indispensable.

If

man were

constituted

396

THE BENEVOLENP AFFECTIONS.

physically as he
tites,

without tho Appeis at present, and yet the next higher class of the principles involving desire 3 there would obviously he a want of adaptation between his mental and physical arrangements. The Prohave each their also, as we advance still upward,
pensities

and uses ; and are sphere of action, their specific nature the necessities of man, adapted with wonderful skill to and to the relations he sustains. The same remark, and will apply to the Affecperhaps in a still highei sense, tions. -As a father, a man has a natural affection for his children, that he may thus he supported in the discharge of the arduous duties he owes to them ; as a child, he has
he

and as man simply, naturally an affection for his parents; is evidently constituted with a degree of love for his
fellow-man.

When we consider the relations which men sustain, still more important than those which are the basis of the are we not justi principles which have been mentioned, on the g*round of Analogy, that there mus fied in
saying,
in the human constitution a princi originally of love to the Supreme Being 1 If there was not pie constitution such a principle as originally in the mental love to God, was not the stiucture of the mind in that rewhat the Analogy of its spect obviously at variance with nature in other respects requires ? If, from the urgent

have been

must be stiong tes of and children, and brothers; love, binding together parents, if these ties must reach and bind with some degree of strictness all the members of the human family, on what wasprinciple can the doctrine be sustained, that man to that Beoriginally created without an implanted love than an ing, who is infinitely more and better to him
necessities of our situation, there

earthly brother or father ?


$

377

That man was originally created with a principle of love God, further shown from the Scriptures.

to

In the second place, we have great reason to believe, from the testimony of the Scriptures, that man was, in the first instance, created with the distinct and operative At the creation, it is principle of love to his Creator. worthy of notice, that everything which came from the

LOVE TO THE SUPKEME BEING.

S97

hands of the great Architect was pronounced to be GOOD. But if man, raised from nothingness into existence, furnished with high powers of thought and action, and supported by the daily gifts of the divine bounty, was created without a principle of love to his Maker, (analogous to the other implanted affections, only that it existin an exceedingly higher degree, corresponding to the greatness of the object,) we cannot deny that we are utterly unable to perceive in such a result the basis of so marked a commendation, as fai as the parents of the human race were concerned. It would seem, on the contrary, that such a work, framed with such a disregard of the most important relations, could not be pronounced

ed

good, even in the estimate of human reason, much less in that of a reason infinitely comprehensive and divine But, furthermore, man is expressly said to have been created in the image of his Maker. That is to say, in
the great outlines of his mental the first instance, a copy, (on a true,) but still a copy, in fact, of we must suppose that God, both
constitution, he was, in very limited scale, it is the Divine Mind. But in his administration of 'ustice and benevolence, is regulated by a wise and full consideration of the relations of things. He always loves fiom the very perfection of his nature, what is worthy to be loved ; and if he created man in his own image, (that is to say, with affections and moral sentiments corresponding to the nature and relations of things,) He must have created him with a disposition to love himself. are not at liberty to suppose that he could by possibility create a being who should either hate or be indifferent towards another being, whom he knew not only to be infinitely wise and good, but to sustain the relation of a Creator, preserver, and benefactor. being thus created, so utterly wanting in those affections which are required by the immutable relations of things, could hardly be said, with any degree of truth, to be created in the image of God. infer, therefore, from the statement of man's being created in the Divine image, that he was created with a principle of love to his Maker And the same reason leads us to believe, that the princi-

We

We

ple

was paramount

to every other

corresponding, as fai

T,

398

THE BENEVOLENT AFFECTIONS.

as the liniited powers of


lately exalted nature of

man would
its

object.

And,

permit, to the infiin addition to

this, the analogy of the other implanted principles points to the conclusion, that, like them, it possesses a twofold

action, instinctive
378

and voluntary.
man was
thus created.

Further proof that

Again, many of those passages of Scripture which are addressed to man in his present fallen state, appear to contemplate the restoration of this great principle. When the Saviour, on a certain occasion, avas asked, in respect to the commandments, which of them was to be regarded
as having the first or leading place, his answer was : " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the Matt, xxii., 37, 38 first and great commandment." This language implies, to say the least, the possibility of the existence of this principle ; and particularly, that in a sinless or perfect state of the human race, it is indispensable. Finally, that renovation of our nature, which is so frequently spoken of in the New Testament under the name of a New Creation or New Birth, and which is represented as being brought about by divine assistance, the writers of the Scripunquestionably, in the meaning of tures, involves the restoration of this essential element of the mental constitution. To be what he is required to be, man must be what he was before the Fall ; and in order to be in this situation, the great requisite is, what has just been mentioned, to love God with all the heart feel

We

authorized, therefore, in asserting, that originally supreme love to God was an essential element of human nature ; and that, at the present moment, it is, or ought to be in

"^ery
Jts
J

human bosom, a

distinct

presence, as

ection,

we shall be led to see in the succeeding makes man what he was designed to be; its ab-

and operative

principle,

sence furnishes an easy and philosophical explanation of those evils which, in the present state of things, so frequently press themselves on our notice.
<J

379. Relation of the principle of supreme love to God to the other principles of the pathematic sensibilities.

In giving an account, in their succession and place- of

LOVE TO THE SUPREME BEING.

399

the principles of action which go to constitute the department of the Pathematic sensibilities, wt. feel at liberty, from what has been remarked, to place at their head, both as most important in its results and as highest in rank, the principle of supreme love to God. If it be said, as undoubtedly it may be said with too much truth, that
this principle

and peimanent
true that
tion.
it
it

human action, considered as a distinct 1 principle, is obliterated, i